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ChmsTian Classics ErheneaL Liknany 

Nicene and 
Post-Nicene Fathers 
Series I, Volume 12 

Philip Schaff 

ChmsTian Classics 

r > >gjj 

Erbeneal Libnany 

NPNF1-12. Saint Chrysostom: Homilies on the 
Epistles of Paul to the Corinthians 






Schaff, Philip (1819-1893) (Editor) 

Grand Rapids, Ml: Christian Classics Ethereal Library 

With over twenty volumes, the Nicene and Post-Nicene 
Fathers is a momentous achievement. Originally gathered 
by Philip Schaff, the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers is a 
collection of writings by classical and medieval Christian 
theologians.The purpose of such a collection is to make their 
writings readily available. The entire work is divided into two 
series. The first series focuses on two classical Christian 
theologians-St. Augustine and St. John Chrysostom. St. 
Augustine is one of the most influential and important Chris- 
tian thinkers of all time. In addition to reprinting his most 
popular two works-the Confessions and the City of 
God- these volumes also contain other noteworthy and im- 
portant works of St. Augustine, such as On the Holy Trinity, 
Christian Doctrine, and others. St. John Chrysostom was an 
eloquent speaker and well-loved Christian clergyman. St. 
John took a more literal interpretation of Scripture, and much 
of his work focused on practical aspects of Christianity, par- 
ticularly what is now called social justice. He advocated for 
the poor, and challenged abuses of authority. This volume 
contains St. John Chrysostom's homilies on first and second 
Corinthians.The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers is compre- 
hensive in scope, and provide keen translations of instructive 
and illuminating texts from some of the greatest theologians 
of the Christian church. These spiritually enlightening texts 
have aided Christians for over a thousand years, and remain 
instructive and fruitful even today! 

Tim Perrine 
CCEL Staff Writer 


Early Christian Literature. Fathers of the Church, etc. 


Series Title. 


Title Page. 




Homilies on First Corinthians. 




Homily I 


Homily II 


Homily III 


Homily IV 


Homily V 


Homily VI 


Homily VII 


Homily VIII 


Homily IX 


Homily X 


Homily XI 


Homily XII 


Homily XIII 


Homily XIV 


Homily XV 


Homily XVI 


Homily XVII 


Homily XVIII 


Homily XIX 


Homily XX 


Homily XXI 


Homily XXII 


Homily XXIII 


Homily XXIV 


Homily XXV 


Homily XXVI 


Homily XXVII 



Homily XXVIII 
Homily XXIX 
Homily XXX 
Homily XXXI 
Homily XXXII 
Homily XXXIII 
Homily XXXIV 
Homily XXXV 
Homily XXXVI 
Homily XXXVII 
Homily XXXIX 
Homily XL 
Homily XLI 
Homily XLII 
Homily XLIII 
Homily XLIV 

Homilies on Second Corinthians. 
Homily I 
Homily II 
Homily III 
Homily IV 
Homily V 
Homily VI 
Homily VII 
Homily VIII 
Homily IX 
Homily X 
Homily XI 
Homily XII 
Homily XIII 
Homily XIV 


































Homily XV 
Homily XVI 
Homily XVII 
Homily XVIII 
Homily XIX 
Homily XX 
Homily XXI 
Homily XXII 
Homily XXIII 
Homily XXIV 
Homily XXV 
Homily XXVI 
Homily XXVII 
Homily XXVIII 
Homily XXIX 
Homily XXX 
Index of Subjects 

Index of Scripture References 
Index of Scripture Commentary 
Greek Words and Phrases 
Index of Pages of the Print Edition 























m ChmsTian Classics 
£ T J ]eKea l Libnatiy 

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Series Title. 

















Title Page. 











The British edition of this translation has a preface in which is given a short “sketch” 
of Chrysostom’s history. As a fuller outline has been given in the course of the present re- 
production of the homilies, it is considered advisable to omit this sketch here. (See Vol. ix. 
pp. 3-23.) The remainder of the English editor’s preface is as follows: 

“The history and remains of St. Chrysostom are in one respect more interesting perhaps 
to the modern reader, than most of the monuments of those who are technically called the 
Fathers. At the time when he was raised up, and in those parts of the Christian world to 
which he was sent, the Patriarchates, namely, of Antioch and Constantinople, the Church 
was neither agitated by persecution from without, nor by any particular doctrinal controversy 
within, sufficient to attract his main attention, and connect his name with its history, as the 
name of St. Athanasius, e.g., is connected with the Arian, or that of St. Augustine with the 
Pelagian, controversy. The labours of St. Athanasius and St. Basil, and their friends and 
disciples, had come to a happy issue at the second CEcumenical Council; the civil power fa- 
voured orthodox doctrine, and upheld Episcopal authority. The Church seemed for the 
time free to try the force of her morals and discipline against the ordinary vices and errors 
of all ages and all nations. This is one reason why the Homilies of St. Chrysostom have always 
been considered as eminently likely among the relics of Antiquity, to be useful as models 
for preaching, and as containing hints for the application of Scripture to common life, and 
the consciences of persons around us. 

Another reason undoubtedly is the remarkable energy and fruitfulness of the writer’s 
mind, that command of language and of topics, and above all, that depth of charitable and 
religious feeling, which enabled him, to a very remarkable extent, to carry his hearers along 
with him, even when the things he recommended were most distasteful to their natures and 
prejudices. It is obvious how much of the expression of this quality must vanish in translation: 
the elegance and fluency of his Greek style, the flow of his periods, the quickness and ingenu- 
ity of his turns, all the excellencies to which more especially his surname was owing, must 
in the nature of things be sacrificed, except in case of very rare felicity, on passing into a 
modern language. His dramatic manner indeed, which was one of the great charms of his 
oratory among the Greeks, and his rapid and ingenious selection and variation of topics, 
these may in some measure be retained, and may serve to give even English readers some 
faint notion of the eloquence which produced so powerful effects on the susceptible people 
of the East. 

“However, it is not of course as composition that we desire to call attention to these or 
any other of the remains of the Fathers. Nor would this topic have been so expressly adverted 
to, but for the two following reasons. First, it is in such particulars as these, that the parallel 



mainly subsists, which has more than once been observed, between St. Chrysostom and our 
own Bishop Taylor: and it is good for the Church in general, and encouraging for our own 
Church in particular, to notice such providential revivals of ancient graces in modern times. 

“Again, this profusion of literary talent, and eloquency and vehemence and skill in 
moral teaching, is of itself, as human nature now exists, a matter of much jealousy to con- 
siderate persons, found answerable to the profession implied in their works. And therefore 
it was desirable to dwell on it in this instance, for the purpose of pointing out afterwards 
how completely his life gave evidence that he meant and practiced what he taught. 

“The Homilies on the first Epistle to the Corinthians have ever been considered by 
learned and devout men as among the most perfect specimens of his mind and teaching. 
They are of that mixed form, between exposition and exhortation, which serves perhaps 
better than any other, first, to secure attention, and then to convey to an attentive hearer 
the full purport of the holy words as they stand in the Bible, and to communicate to him 
the very impression which the preacher himself had received from the text. Accordingly 
they come in not unfitly in this series, by way of specimen of the hortatory Sermons of the 
ancients, as St. Cyril’s, of their Catechetical Lectures, and St. Cyprians, the Pastoral Letters, 
which were circulated among them. 

“The date of these Homilies is not exactly known: but it is certain that they were delivered 
at Antioch, were it only from Horn. xxi. §. 9. ad fin. Antioch was at that time, in a temporal 
sense, a flourishing Church, maintaining 3,000 widows and virgins, 1 maimed persons, 
prisoners, and ministers of the altar; although, St. Chrysostom adds, its income was but that 
of one of the lowest class of wealthy individuals. It was indeed in a state of division, on ac- 
count of the disputed succession in the Episcopate between the followers of Paulinus and 
Meletius since the year 362: but this separation affected not immediately any point of doc- 
trine; and was in a way to be gradually worn out, partly by the labors of St. Chrysostom 
himself, whose discourse concerning the Anathema seems to have been occasioned by the 
too severe way in which the partisans on both sides allowed themselves to speak of each 
other. It may be that he had an eye to this schism in his way of handling those parts of the 
Epistles to the Corinthians, which so earnestly deprecate the spirit of schism and party, and 
the calling ourselves by human names. 

“The Text which has been used in this translation is the Benedictine, corrected however 
in many places by that of Savile. The Benedictine Sections are marked in the margin thus, 
(2.) For the Translation, the Editors are indebted to the Reverend Hubert Kestell Cornish, 
M.A., late Fellow of Exeter College, and to the Reverend John Medley, M.A., of Wadham 
College, Vicar of St. Thomas, in the city of Exeter.” 

J. Kfeble]. 

1 Horn. 66. on St. Matt. t. ii. p. 422. ed. Savil. 



The Homilies on the Second Epistle were issued four years later than those on the First, 
and were preceded by the following note: 

“The present Volume completes the set of St. Chrysostom’s Commentaries on the 
Epistles of St. Paul, with the exception of that to the Hebrews, the Translation of which is 
preparing for the press. The edition of the original by Mr. Field has afforded the advantage 
of an improved text, in fact of one as good as we can hope to see constructed from existing 

“These Homilies were delivered at Antioch in the opinion of the Benedictine Editors, 
though Savile doubted it. The question depends on the interpretation of a passage near the 
end of Horn, xxvi., in which St. Chrysostom speaks of Constantinople, and presently says 
‘here.’ This, it has been rightly argued, he might say in the sense of “in the place I am 
speaking of,’ while he was not likely to say, ‘in Constantinople’ if he were speaking there. 

“For the Translation the Editors are indebted to the Rev. J. Ashworth, M.A., of Brasenose 

S. Clement, 1848. 

C. M. MJarriott.] 

This volume of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, embraces both volumes of the 
original London issue, one of which appeared in 1844, the other in 1848. The author of the 
latter had, as appears from his statement above, the advantage of using the recension of the 
Greek text which was prepared by the late Frederick Field, M.A., LL.D., and eminent textual 
critic whose labors leave nothing to be desired so far as concerns the materials at his com- 
mand. The translators of the First Epistle did not have this advantage. Hence the present 
editor has made a diligent comparison throughout their work with Dr. Field’s text, and 
whenever it was necessary has silently conformed the rendering to that text, in a few instances 
omitting a note which made needless or inappropriate by the change. In both Epistles he 
has occasionally amended the translation to gain perspicuity and smoothness. The work of 
the English authors has been performed with great care and fidelity, and is literal almost to 
a fault, it apparently being their endeavor to reproduce the form as well as the spirit of the 
original. This has given to their pages a stiffness and constraint not altogether agreeable, 
yet it is a compensation to the reader to know that he has before him the precise thought of 
the great pulpit orator of the Greek Church. The American Editor’s notes have been enclosed 
in square brackets and marked with his initial. 

The English text of the Epistles has been sedulously conformed to that of the Revised 
Edition of 1881, except in cases in which the Greek text used by Chrysostom varied from 
that adopted by recent Editors. All peculiarities of Chrysostom’s text have been faithfully 



In these days when expository preaching is so loudly and generally demanded, it cannot 
but be of use to the rising ministry to see how this service was performed by the most eloquent 
and effective of the Fathers, John of the Golden-Mouth. 

T. W. Chambers. 

New York, June, 1889. 


Homilies on First Corinthians. 








[ 1 .] As Corinth is now the first city of Greece, so of old it prided itself on many temporal 
advantages, and more than all the rest, on excess of wealth. And on this account one of the 
heathen writers entitled the place “the rich . For it lies on the isthmus of the Peloponnesus, 
and had great facilities for traffic. The city was also full of numerous orators, and philosoph- 
ers, and one, I think, of the seven called wise men, was of this city. Now these things we 
have mentioned, not for ostentation’s sake, nor to make, a display of great learning: (for 
indeed what is there in knowing these things?) but they are of use to us in the argument of 
the Epistle. 

Paul also himself suffered many things in this city; and Christ, too, in this city appears 
to him and says, (Acts xviii. 10), “Be not silent, but speak; for I have much people in this 
city:” and he remained there two years. In this city [Acts xix. 16. Corinth put here, by lapse 
of memory, for Ephesus.] also the devil went out, whom the Jews endeavoring to exorcise, 
suffered so grievously. In this city did those of the magicians, who repented, collect together 
their books and burn them, and there appeared to be fifty thousand. (Acts xix. 18. apyupfou 

2 Homer, II. ii. 570; Thucyd. i. 13; Strabo, viii. 20. 

3 Periander; but vid. Plutarch, in Solon, tom. i. p. 185. ed. Bryan. 



omitted.) In this city also, in the time of Gallio the Proconsul, Paul was beaten before the 
judgment seat. 4 

[2.] The devil, therefore, seeing that a great and populous city had laid hold of the truth, 
a city admired for wealth and wisdom, and the head of Greece; (for Athens and Lacedaemon 
were then and since in a miserable state, the dominion having long ago fallen away from 
them;) and seeing that with great readiness they had received the word of God; what doth 
he? He divides the men. For he knew that even the strongest kingdom of all, divided against 
itself, shall not stand. He had a vantage ground too, for this device in the wealth, the wisdom 
of the inhabitants. Hence certain men, having made parties of their own, and having become 
self-elected made themselves leaders of the people, and some sided with these, and some 
with those; with one sort, as being rich; with another, as wise and able to teach something 
out of the common. Who on their part, receiving them, set themselves up forsooth to teach 
more than the Apostle did: 5 at which he was hinting, when he said, “I was not able to speak 
unto you as unto spiritual” (ch. iii. 1.); evidently not his inability, but their infirmity, was 
the cause of their not having been abundantly instructed. And this, (ch. iv. 8.) “Ye are become 
rich without us,” is the remark of one pointing that way. And this was no small matter, but 
of all things most pernicious; that the Church should be torn asunder. 

And another sin, too, besides these, was openly committed there: namely, a person who 
had had intercourse with his step-mother not only escaped rebuke, but was even a leader 
of the multitude, and gave occasion to his followers to be conceited. Wherefore he saith, 
(ch. 5.2.) “And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned.” And after this again, certain 
of those who as they pretended were of the more perfect sort, and who for gluttony’s sake 
used to eat of things offered unto idols, and sit at meat in the temples, were bringing all to 
ruin. Others again, having contentions and strifes about money, committed unto the heathen 
courts (rote; e^oiGev aiKaSrijptoic;) all matters of that kind. Many persons also wearing long 
hair used to go about among them; whom he ordereth to be shorn. There was another fault 
besides, no trifling one; their eating in the churches apart by themselves, and giving no share 
to the needy. 

And again, they were erring in another point, being puffed up with the gifts; and hence 
jealous of one another; which was also the chief cause of the distraction of the Church. The 
doctrine of the Resurrection, too, was lame (ex&Xeve) among them: for some of them had 

4 This is said of Sosthenes, Acts xviii. 17. But the context makes it probable that St. Paul was beaten also. 

5 St. Irenaeus, Adv. Hcer. iii. v. 1, points out this as a main topic of heretical teaching. “These most futile of 
Sophisters affirm that the Apostles taught feignedly, after the capacity of the hearers, and gave answer after the 
prejudices of those who enquired of them, discoursing with the blind blindly according to their blindness, with 
the feeble according to their feebleness, and with the erring according to their error.” 


no strong belief that there is any resurrection of bodies, having still on them the disease of 
Grecian foolishness. For indeed all these things were the progeny of the madness which 
belongs to Heathen Philosophy, and she was the mother of all mischief. Hence, likewise, 
they had become divided; in this respect also having learned of the philosophers. For these 
latter were no less at mutual variance, always, through love of rule and vain glory contradict- 
ing one another’s opinions, and bent upon making some new discovery in addition to all 
that was before. And the cause of this was, their having begun to trust themselves to reason- 

[3.] They had written accordingly to him by the hand of Fortunatus and Stephanas and 
Achaicus, by whom also he himself writes; and this he has indicated in the end of the Epistle: 
not however upon all these subjects, but about marriage and virginity; wherefore also he 
said, (ch. vii. 1.) “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote” &c. And he proceeds to 
give injunctions, both on the points about which they had written, and those about which 
they had not written; having learnt with accuracy all their failings. Timothy, too, he sends 
with the letters, knowing that letters indeed have great force, yet that not a little would be 
added to them by the presence of the disciple also. 

Now whereas those who had divided the Church among themselves, from a feeling of 
shame lest they should seem to have done so for ambition’s sake, contrived cloaks for what 
had happened, their teaching (forsooth) more perfect doctrines, and being wiser than all 
others; Paul sets himself first against the disease itself, plucking up the root of the evils, and 
its offshoot, the spirit of separation. And he uses great boldness of speech: for these were 
his own disciples, more than all others. Wherefore he saith (ch. ix. 2.) “If to others I be not 
an Apostle, yet at least I am unto you; for the seal of my apostleship are ye.” Moreover they 
were in a weaker condition (to say the least of it) than the others. Wherefore he saith, (ch. 
iii. 1, 2. ou5e for oure). “For I have not spoken unto you as unto spiritual; for hitherto ye 
were not able, neither yet even now are ye able.” (This he saith, that they might not suppose 
that he speaks thus in regard of the time past alone.) 

However, it was utterly improbable that all should have been corrupted; rather there 
were some among them who were very holy. And this he signified 6 in the middle of the 
Epistle, where he says, (ch. iv. 3, 6.) “To me it is a very small thing that I should be judged 
of you:” and adds, “these things I have in a figure transferred unto myself and Apollos.” 

Since then from arrogance all these evils were springing, and from men’s thinking that 
they knew something out of the common, this he purgeth away first of all, and in beginning 

6 It appears by the subsequent commentary on these verses, that S. Chrysostom understood the Apostle to 
be alluding in them to persons among the Corinthians, who had suffered from unjust censure and party spirit. 
See Horn. ii. §. 1; xi. near the end; and the opening of Horn. xii. 


Homily I 

Homily I. 

1 Cor. i. 1-3 

Paul, called to be an Apostle of Jesus Christ, through the will of God, and Sosthenes our 
brother, unto the Church of God which is at Corinth, even them that are sanctified in 
Christ Jesus, called to be Saints, with all that call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ 
in every place, their Lord and ours: Grace unto you and peace from God our Father and 
the Lord Jesus Christ. 

[ 1 .] See how immediately, from the very beginning, he casts down their pride, and dashes 
to the ground all their fond imagination, in that he speaks of himself as “called.” For what 
I have learnt, saith he, I discovered not myself, nor acquired by my own wisdom, but while 
I was persecuting and laying waste the Church I was called. Now here of Him that calleth 
is everything: of him that is called, nothing, (so to speak,) but only to obey. 

“Of Jesus Christ.” Your teacher is Christ; and do you register the names of men, as 
patrons of your doctrine? 

“Through the will of God.” For it was God who willed that you should be saved in this 
way. We ourselves have wrought no good thing, but by the will of God we have attained to 
this salvation; and because it seemed good to him, we were called, not because we were 

“And Sosthenes our brother.” Another instance of his modesty; he puts in the same 
rank with himself one inferior to Apollos; for great was the interval between Paul and 
Sosthenes. Now if where the interval was so wide he stations with himself one far beneath 
him, what can they have to say who despise their equals? 

“Unto the Church of God.” Not “of this or of that man,” but of God. 

“Which is at Corinth.” Seest thou how at each word he puts down their swelling pride; 
training their thoughts in every way for heaven? He calls it, too, the Church “of God;” 
shewing that it ought to be united. For if it be “of God,” it is united, and it is one, not in 
Corinth only, but also in all the world: for the Church’s name (eKKAqoia: properly an as- 
sembly) is not a name of separation, but of unity and concord. 

“To the sanctified in Christ Jesus.” Again the name of Jesus; the names of men he find- 
eth no place for. But what is Sanctification? The Laver, the Purification. For he reminds 
them of their own uncleanness, from which he had freed them; and so persuades them to 
lowliness of mind; for not by their own good deeds, but by the loving-kindness of God, had 
they been sanctified. 

“Called to be Saints.” For even this, to be saved by faith, is not saith he, of yourselves; 
for ye did not first draw near, but were called; so that not even this small matter is yours 
altogether. However, though you had drawn near, accountable as you are for innumerable 


Homily I 

wickednesses, not even so would the grace be yours, but God’s. Hence also, writing to the 
Ephesians, he said, (Eph. ii. 8) “By grace have ye been saved through faith, and this not of 
yourselves;” not even the faith is yours altogether; for ye were not first with your belief, but 
obeyed a call. 

“With all who call upon the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Not “of this or that man,” 
but “the Name of the Lord.” 

[2.] “In every place, both theirs and ours.” For although the letter be written to the 
Corinthians only, yet he makes mention of all the faithful that are in all the earth; showing 
that the Church throughout the world must be one, however separate in divers places; and 
much more, that in Corinth. And though the place separate, the Lord binds them together, 
being common to all. Wherefore also uniting them he adds, “both theirs and ours.” And 
this is far more powerful [to unite], than the other [to separate]. For as men in one place, 
having many and contrary masters, become distracted, and their one place helps them not 
to be of one mind, their masters giving orders at variance with each other, and drawing each 
their own way, according to what Christ says, (St. Matt. vi. 24) “Ye cannot serve God and 
Mammon;” so those in different places, if they have not different lords but one only, are not 
by the places injured in respect of unanimity, the One Lord binding them together. “I say 
not then, (so he speaks,) that with Corinthians only, you being Corinthians ought to be of 
one mind, but with all that are in the whole world, inasmuch as you have a common Master.” 
This is also why he hath a second time added “our;” for since he had said, “the Name of Jesus 
Christ our Lord,” lest he should appear to the inconsiderate to be making a distinction, he 
subjoins again, “both our Lord and theirs.” 

[3.] That my meaning may be clearer, I will read it according to its sense thus: “Paul 
and Sosthenes to the Church of God which is in Corinth and to all who call upon the Name 
of Him who is both our Lord and theirs in every place, whether in Rome or wheresoever 
else they maybe: grace unto you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 

Or again thus; which I also believe to be rather more correct: “Paul and Sosthenes to 
those that are at Corinth, who have been sanctified, called to be Saints, together with all who 
call upon the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ in place, both theirs and ours;” that is to say, 
“grace unto you, and peace unto you, who are at Corinth, who have been sanctified and 
called;” not to you alone, but “with all who in every place call upon the Name of Jesus Christ, 
our Lord and theirs.” 

Now if our peace be of grace, why hast thou high thoughts? Why art Thou so puffed 
up, being saved by grace? And if thou hast peace with God, why wish to assign thyself to 
others? since this is what separation comes to. For what if you be at “peace” with this man, 
and with the other even find “grace?” My prayer is that both these may be yours from God; 
both from Him I say, and towards Him. For neither do they abide (psvei, Savile in marg.) 
secure except they enjoy the influence from above; nor unless God be their object will they 


Homily I 

aught avail you: for it profiteth us nothing, though we be peaceful towards all men, if we be 
at war with God; even as it is no harm to us, although by all men we are held as enemies, if 
with God we are at peace. And again it is no gain to us, if all men approve, and the Lord be 
offended; neither is there any danger, though all shun and hate us, if with God we have ac- 
ceptance and love. For that which is verily grace, and verily peace, cometh of God, since he 
who finds grace in God’s sight, though he suffer ten thousand horrors, feareth no one; I say 
not only, no man, but not even the devil himself; but he that hath offended God suspects 
all men, though he seem to be in security. For human nature is unstable, and not friends 
only and brethren, but fathers also, before now, have been altogether changed and often for 
a little thing he whom they begat, the branch of their planting, hath been to them, more 
than all foes, an object of persecution. Children, too, have cast off their fathers. Thus, if ye 
will mark it, David was in favor with God, Absalom was in favor with men. What was the 
end of each, and which of them gained most honor, ye know. Abraham was in favor with 
God, Pharaoh with men; for to gratify him they gave up the just man’s wife. (See St. Chrys. 
on Gen. xii. 17.) Which then of the two was the more illustrious, and the happy man? every 
one knows. And why speak I of righteous men; The Israelites were in favor with God, but 
they were hated by men, the Egyptians; but nevertheless they prevailed against their haters 
and vanquished them, with how great triumph, is well known to you all. 

For this, therefore, let all of us labor earnestly; whether one be a slave, let him pray for 
this, that he may find grace with God rather than with his master; or a wife, let her seek 
grace from God her Saviour rather than from her husband; or a soldier, in preference to his 
king and commander let him seek that favor which cometh from above. For thus among 
men also wilt thou be an object of love. 

[4.] But how shall a man find grace with God? How else, except by lowliness of mind? 
“For God, “saith one, (St. Jas. iv. 6.) “resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble; 
and, (Ps. li. 17. reratteivcopevqv.) the sacrifice of God is a broken spirit, and a heart that is 
brought low God will not despise.” For if with men humility is so lovely, much more with 
God. Thus both they of the Gentiles found grace and the Jews no other way fell from grace; 
(Rom. x. 13.) “for they were not subject unto the righteousness of God.” The lowly man of 
whom I am speaking, is pleasing and delightful to all men, and dwells in continual peace, 
and hath in him no ground for contentions. For though you insult him, though you abuse 
him, whatsoever you say, he will be silent and will bear it meekly, and will have so great 
peace towards all men as one cannot even describe. Yea, and with God also. For the com- 
mandments of God are to be at peace with men: and thus our whole life is made prosperous, 
through peace one with another. For no man can injure God: His nature is imperishable, 
and above all suffering. Nothing makes the Christian so admirable as lowliness of mind. 
Hear, for instance, Abraham saying, (Gen. xviii. 27.) “But I am but dust and ashes;” and 
again, God [saying] of Moses, that (Numb. xii. 3.) “he was the meekest of all men.” For 


Homily I 

nothing was ever more humble than he; who, being leader of so great a people, and having 
overwhelmed in the sea the king and the host of all the Egyptians, as if they had been flies; 
and having wrought so many wonders both in Egypt and by the Red Sea and in the wilderness, 
and received such high testimony, yet felt exactly as if he had been an ordinary person, and 
as a son-in-law was humbler than his father-in-law, (Exodus xviii. 24) and took advice from 
him, and was not indignant, nor did he say, “What is this? After such and so great achieve- 
ments, art thou come to us with thy counsel?” This is what most people feel; though a man 
bring the best advice, despising it, because of the lowliness of the person. But not so did he: 
rather through lowliness of mind he wrought all things well. Hence also he despised the 
courts of kings, (Heb. xi. 24-26.) since he was lowly indeed: for the sound mind and the 
high spirit are the fruit of humility. For of how great nobleness and magnanimity, thinkest 
thou, was it a token, to despise the kingly palace and table? since kings among the Egyptians 
are honored as gods, and enjoy wealth and treasures inexhaustible. But nevertheless, letting 
go all these and throwing away the very sceptres of Egypt, he hastened to join himself unto 
captives, and men worn down with toil, whose strength was spent in the clay and the making 
of bricks, men whom his own slaves abhorred, (for, saith he (sPSeAuaaovro, Sept. Ex. i. 2.) 
“The Egyptians abhorred them;”) unto these he ran and preferred them before their masters. 
From whence it is plain, that whoso is lowly, the same is high and great of soul. For pride 
cometh from an ordinary mind and an ignoble spirit, but moderation, from greatness of 
mind and a lofty soul. 

[5.] And if you please, let us try each by examples. For tell me, what was there ever more 
exalted than Abraham? And yet it was he that said, “I am but dust and ashes;” it was he who 
said, (Gen. xiii. 8) “Let there be no strife between me and thee.” But this man, so humble, 
(Gen. xiv. 21-24.) despised (“Persian,” i.e. perhaps, “of Elam.”) Persian spoils, and regarded 
not Barbaric trophies; and this he did of much highmindedness, and of a spirit nobly nur- 
tured. For he is indeed exalted who is truly humble; (not the flatterer nor the dissembler;) 
for true greatness is one thing, and arrogance another. And this is plain from hence; if one 
man esteem clay to be clay, and despise it, and another admire the clay as gold, and account 
it a great thing; which, I ask, is the man of exalted mind? Is it not he who refuses to admire 
the clay? And which, abject and mean? Is it not he who admires it, and set much store by 
it? Just so do thou esteem of this case also; that he who calls himself but dust and ashes is 
exalted, although he say it out of humility; but that he who does not consider himself dust 
and ashes, but treats himself lovingly and has high thoughts, this man for his part must be 
counted mean, esteeming little things to be great. Whence it is clear that out of great loftiness 
of thought the patriarch spoke that saying, “I am but dust and ashes;” from loftiness of 
thought, not from arrogance. 

For as in bodies it is one thing to be healthy and plump, (ocppiyoovra, firm and elastic.) 
and another thing to be swoln, although both indicate a full habit of flesh, (but in this case 


Homily I 

of unsound, in that of healthful flesh;) so also here: it is one thing to be arrogant, which is, 
as it were, to be swoln, and another thing to be high-souled, which is to be in a healthy state. 
And again, one man is tall from the stature of his person; another, being short, by adding 


buskins becomes taller; now tell me, which of the two should we call tall and large? Is it 
not quite plain, him whose height is from himself? For the other has it as something not his 
own; and stepping upon things low in themselves, turns out a tall person. Such is the case 
with many men who mount themselves up on wealth and glory; which is not exaltation, for 
he is exalted who wants none of these things, but despises them, and has his greatness from 
himself. Let us therefore become humble that we may become exalted; (St. Luke xiv. 11) 
“For he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” Now the self-willed man is not such as this; 
rather he is of all characters the most ordinary. For the bubble, too, is inflated, but the infla- 
tion is not sound; wherefore we call these persons “puffed up.” Whereas the sober-minded 
man has no high thoughts, not even in high fortunes, knowing his own low estate; but the 
vulgar even in his trifling concerns indulges a proud fancy. 

[6.] Let us then acquire that height which comes by humility. Let us look into the nature 
of human things, that we may kindle with the longing desire of the things to come; for in 
no other way is it possible to become humble, except by the love of what is divine and the 
contempt of what is present. For just as a man on the point of obtaining a kingdom, if instead 
of that purple robe one offer him some trivial compliment, will count it to be nothing; so 
shall we also laugh to scorn all things present, if we desire that other sort of honor. Do ye 
not see the children, when in their play they make a band of soldiers, and heralds precede 
them and lictors, and a boy marches in the midst in the generaFs place, how childish it all 
is? Just such are all human affairs; yea and more worthless than these: to-day they are, and 
to-morrow they are not. Let us therefore be above these things; and let us not only not desire 
them, but even be ashamed if any one hold them forth to us. For thus, casting out the love 
of these things, we shall possess that other love which is divine, and shall enjoy immortal 
glory. Which may God grant us all to obtain, through the grace and loving-kindness of our 
Lord Jesus Christ; with whom be to the Father, together with the holy and good Spirit, the 
glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. 

7 £p(3a5a<;, a leathern shoe coming half way up the leg, with high heels of cork; used especially by tragic actors 

to elevate their size. TEschylus, says Horace, improving tragedy, “docuit magnumque loqui, nitique cothurno.” 
A. P. 280. 


Homily II 

Homily II. 

1 Cor. i. 4, 5 

I thank my God always concerning you, for the Grace of God which was given you in Jesus 

Christ; that in every thing you were enriched in him. 

[1.] That which he exhorts others to do, saying, “(Phil. iv. 6.) Let your requests with 
thanksgiving be made known unto God,” the same also he used to do himself: teaching us 
to begin always from these words, and before all things to give thanks unto God. For nothing 
is so acceptable to God as that men should be thankful, both for themselves and for others: 
wherefore also he prefaces almost every Epistle with this. But the occasion for his doing so 
is even more urgent here than in the other Epistles. For he that gives thanks, does so, both 
as being well off, and as in acknowledgment of a favor: now a favor is not a debt nor a requital 
nor a payment: which indeed every where is important to be said, but much more in the 
case of the Corinthians who were gaping after the dividers of the Church. 

[2.] “Unto my God.” Out of great affection he seizes on that which is common, and 
makes it his own; as the prophets also from time to time use to say, (Ps. xliii. 4; lxii. 1.) “O 
God, my God;” and by way of encouragement he incites them to use the same language also 
themselves. For such expressions belong to one who is retiring from all secular things, and 
moving towards Him whom he calls on with so much earnestness: since he alone can truly 
say this, who from things of this life is ever mounting upwards unto God, and always prefer- 


ring Him to all, and giving thanks continually, not [only] for the grace already given, but 
whatever blessing hath been since at any time bestowed, for this also he offereth unto Him 
the same praise. Wherefore he saith not merely, “I give thanks,” but “at all times, concerning 
you;” instructing them to be thankful both always, and to no one else save God only. 

[3.] “For the grace of God.” Seest thou how from every quarter he draws topics for cor- 
recting them? For where “grace” is, “works” are not; where “works,” it is no more “grace.” 
If therefore it be “grace,” why are ye high-minded? Whence is it that ye are puffed up? 

“Which is given you.” And by whom was it given? By me, or by another Apostle? Not 
at all, but “by Jesus Christ.” For the expression, “In Jesus Christ,” signifies this. Observe how 
in divers places he uses the word ev, “in,” instead of 51 ou, “through means of whom;” 
therefore its sense is no less. 8 9 

“That in every thing ye were enriched.” Again, by whom? By Him, is the reply. And not 
merely “ye were enriched,” but “in every thing.” Since then it is first of all, “riches” then, 

8 This seems to mean the grace given in Baptism once for all. 

9 [This is true, but modern criticism prefers the literal sense of the preposition; in Jesus Christ, i.e., in your 
fellowship with him. C.] 


Homily II 

“riches of God,” next, “in every thing,” and lastly, “through the Only-Begotten,” reflect on 
the ineffable treasure! 

Ver. 5. “In all utterance, and all knowledge.” “Word” [“or utterance,”] not such as the 
heathen, but that of God. For there is knowledge without “word,” and there is knowledge 
with “word.” For so there are many who possess knowledge, but have not the power of 
speech; as those who are uneducated and unable to exhibit clearly what they have in their 
mind. Ye, saith he, are not such as these, but competent both to understand and to speak. 

Ver. 6. “Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you.” Under the color of 
praises and thanksgiving he touches them sharply. “For not by heathen philosophy,” saith 
he, “neither by heathen discipline, but “the grace of God,” and by the “riches,” and the 
“knowledge,” and the “word” given by Him, were you enabled to learn the doctrines of the 
truth, and to be confirmed unto the testimony of the Lord; that is, unto the Gospel. For ye 
had the benefit of many signs, many wonders, unspeakable grace, to make you receive the 
Gospel. If therefore ye were established by signs and grace, why do ye waver?” Now these 
are the words of one both reproving, and at the same time prepossessing them in his favor. 

[4.] Ver. 7. “So that ye come behind in no gift.” A great question here arises. They who 
had been “enriched in all utterance,” so as in no respect to “come behind in any gift,” are 
they carnal? For if they were such at the beginning, much more now. How then does he call 
them “carnal?” For, saith he, (1 Cor. iii. 1.) “I was not able to speak unto you as unto spiritual, 
but as unto carnal.” What must we say then? That having in the beginning believed, and 
obtained all gifts, (for indeed they sought them earnestly,) they became remiss afterwards. 
Or, if not so, that not unto all are either these things said or those; but the one to such as 
were amenable to his censures, the other to such as were adorned with his praises. For as 
to the fact that they still had gifts; (1 Cor. xiv. 26, 29.) “Each one,” saith he, “hath a psalm, 
hath a revelation, hath a tongue, hath an interpretation; let all things be done unto edifying.” 
And, “Let the prophets speak two or three.” Or we may state it somewhat differently; that 
as it is usual with us to call the greater part the whole, so also he hath spoken in this place. 
Withal, I think he hints at his own proceedings; for he too had shewn forth signs; even as 
also he saith in the second Epistle to them, (2 Cor. xii. 12, 13.) “Truly the signs of an Apostle 
were wrought among you in all patience:” and again, “For what is there wherein you were 
inferior to other churches?” 

Or, as I was saying, he both reminds them of his own miracles and speaks thus with an 
eye to those who were still approved. For many holy men were there who had “set themselves 
to minister unto the saints,” and had become “the first fruits of Achaia;” as he declareth (ch. 
xvi. 15.) towards the end. 

[5.] In any case, although the praises be not very close to the truth, still however they 
are inserted by way of precaution, (oixovopiKCOc;) preparing the way beforehand for his 
discourse. For whoever at the very outset speaks things unpleasant, excludes his words from 


Homily II 

a hearing among the weaker: since if the hearers be his equals in degree they feel angry; if 
vastly inferior they will be vexed. To avoid this, he begins with what seem to be praises. I 
say, seem; for not even did this praise belong to them, but to the grace of God. For that they 
had remission of sins, and were justified, this was of the Gift from above. Wherefore also 
he dwells upon these points, which shew the loving-kindness of God, in order that he may 
the more fully purge out their malady. 

[6.] “Waiting for the revelation (atiOKaArnJnv.) of our Lord Jesus Christ.” “Why make 
ye much ado,” saith he, “why are ye troubled that Christ is not come? Nay, he is come; and 
the Day is henceforth at the doors.” And consider his wisdom; how withdrawing them from 
human considerations he terrifies them by mention of the fearful judgment-seat, and thus 
implying that not only the beginnings must be good, but the end also. For with all these 
gifts, and with all else that is good, we must be mindful of that Day: and there is need of 
many labors to be able to come unto the end. “Revelation” is his word; implying that although 
He be not seen, yet He is, and is present even now, and then shall appear. Therefore there 
is need of patience: for to this end did ye receive the wonders, that ye may remain firm. 

[7.] Ver. 8. “Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be unreprovable.” 
Here he seems to court them, but the saying is free from all flattery; for he knows also how 
to press them home; as when he saith, (1 Cor. iv. 18, 21.) “Now some are puffed up as though 
I would not come to you:” and again, “What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or 
in love, and in the spirit of meekness?” And, (2 Cor. xiii. 3.) “Since ye seek a proof of Christ 
speaking in me.” But he is also covertly accusing them: for, to say, “He shall confirm,” and 
the word “unreprovable” marks them out as still wavering, and liable to reproof. 

But do thou consider how he always fasteneth them as with nails to the Name of Christ. 
And not any man nor teacher, but continually the Desired One Himself is remembered by 
him: setting himself, as it were to arouse those who were heavy-headed after some debauch. 
For no where in any other Epistle doth the Name of Christ occur so continually. But here 
it is, many times in a few verses; and by means of it he weaves together, one may say, the 
whole of the proem. Look at it from the beginning. “Paul called [to be] an Apostle of Jesus 
Christ, to them that have been sanctified in Jesus Christ, who call upon the Name of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, grace [be] unto you and peace from God the Father, and the Lord Jesus 
Christ. I thank my God for the grace which hath been given you by Jesus Christ, even as the 
testimony of Christ hath been confirmed in you, waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, who shall confirm you unreprovable in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is 
faithful, by whom ye have been called into the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord. 
And I beseech you by the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Seest thou the constant repetition 
of the Name of Christ? From whence it is plain even to the most unobservant, that not by 
chance nor unwittingly he doeth this, but in order that by incessant application 10 of that 

10 The image here seems to be taken from the vulgar use, in medicine, of a charm or amulet. 


Homily II 

glorious Name he may foment 11 their inflammation, and purge out the corruption of the 

[8.] Ver. 9. “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son.” 
Wonderful! How great a thing saith he here! How vast in the magnitude of the gift which 
he declares! Into the fellowship of the Only- Begotten have ye been called, and do ye addict 
yourselves unto men? What can be worse than this wretchedness? And how have ye been 
called? By the Father. For since “through Him,” and “in Him,” were phrases which he was 
constantly employing in regard of the Son, lest men might suppose that he so mentioneth 
Him as being less, he ascribeth the same to the Father. For not by this one and that one, 
saith he, but “by the Father” have ye been called; by Him also have ye been “enriched.” 
Again, “ye have been called;” ye did not yourselves approach. But what means, “into the 
fellowship of His Son?” Hear him declaring this very thing more clearly elsewhere. (2 Tim. 
ii. 12.) If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him; if we die with Him, we shall also live with 
Him. Then, because it was a great thing which He had said, he adds an argument fraught 
with unanswerable conviction; for, saith he, “God is faithful,” i.e. “true.” Now if “true,” what 
things He hath promised He will also perform. And He hath promised that He will make 
us partakers of His only-begotten Son; for to this end also did He call us. For (Rom. xi. 29.) 
“His gifts, and the calling of God,” are without repentance. 

These things, by a kind of divine art he inserts thus early, lest after the vehemence of 
the reproofs they might fall into despair. For assuredly God’s part will ensue, if we be not 
quite impatient of His rein, (acpqviaaoopev) As the Jews, being called, would not receive 
the blessings; but this was no longer of Him that called, but of their lack of sense. For He 
indeed was willing to give, but they, by refusing to receive, cast themselves away. For, had 
He called to a painful and toilsome undertaking, not even in that case were they pardonable 
in making excuse; however, they would have been able to say that so it was: but if the call 
be unto cleansing, (Comp. i. 4-7.) and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption, 
and grace, and a free gift, and the good things in store, which eye hath not seen, nor ear 
heard; and it be God that calls, and calls by Himself; what pardon can they deserve, who 
come not running to Him? Let no one therefore accuse God; for unbelief cometh not of 
Him that calleth, but of those who start away (dttOTtqScovrac;) from Him. 

[9.] But some man will say, “He ought to bring men in, even against their will.” Away 
with this. He doth not use violence, nor compel; for who that bids to honors, and crowns, 
and banquets, and festivals, drags people, unwilling and bound? No one. For this is the part 

1 1 [Dr. Field’s text reads eTtavTAxov.] 

12 Yet in St. Luke xiv. 23. it is, “ compel them to come in.” But our Lord is there speaking of the kingdom of 
heaven, S. Chrysostom here, of heaven itself. [A better answer is that the words denote not physical violence or 
literal compulsion but intense moral earnestness.] 


Homily II 

of one inflicting an insult. Unto hell He sends men against their will, but unto the kingdom 
He calls willing minds. To the fire He brings men bound and bewailing themselves: to the 
endless state of blessings not so. Else it is a reproach to the very blessings themselves, if their 
nature be not such as that men should run to them of their own accord and with many 

“Whence it is then,” say you, “that all men do not choose them?” From their own infirm- 
ity. “And wherefore doth He not cut off their infirmity?” And how tell me — in what 
way — ought He to cut it off? Hath He not made a world that teacheth His loving-kindness 
and His power? For (Ps. xix. 1.) “the heavens,” saith one, “declare the glory of God.” Hath 
He not also sent prophets? Hath He not both called and honored us? Hath He not done 
wonders? Hath He not given a law both written and natural? Hath He not sent His Son? 
Hath he not commissioned Apostles? Hath He not wrought sins? Hath He not threatened 
hell? Hath He not promised the kingdom? Doth He not every day make His sun to rise? Are 
not the things which He hath enjoined so simple and easy, that many transcend His com- 
mandments in the greatness of their self-denial? “What was there to do unto the vineyard 
and I have not done it?” (Is. v. 4.) 

[10.] “And why,” say you, “did He not make knowledge and virtue natural to us?” Who 
speaketh thus? The Greek or the Christian? Both of them, indeed, but not about the same 
things: for the one raises his objection with a view to knowledge, the other with a view to 
conduct. First, then, we will reply to him who is on our side; for I do not so much regard 
those without, as our own members. 

What then saith the Christian? “It were meet to have implanted in us the knowledge 
itself of virtue.” He hath implanted it; for if he had not done so, whence should we have 
known what things are to be done, what left undone? Whence are the laws and the tribunals? 
But “God should have imparted not [merely] knowledge, but also the very doing of it [vir- 
tue] .” For what then wouldest thou have to be rewarded, if the whole were of God? For tell 
me, doth God punish in the same manner thee and the Greek upon committing sin 14 ? Surely 

13 [rfj Ttepiouaia rfj<; cpiXoaocpiac;. Lit. “by the excess of philosophy.” The term philosophy came to be used 
by the early Christian writers to denote a contemplative, self-denying life. The reference in the text is to the so- 
called “counsels of perfection,” such as voluntary poverty, voluntary celibacy, etc., which as they exceed what is 
enjoined in the Gospel were supposed to establish a peculiar merit and secure a higher degree of blessedness. 
This two-fold standard of moral excellence may be traced back as far as the middle of the second century. See 
Pastor Hermae Simil. v. 3. C.] 

14 The meaning seems to be, “Whatever other sins you commit, you have not the sin of unbelief to answer 
for; and would, I suppose, think it hard, if cceteris paribus you were counted as guilty as an unbeliever. Now this 
your instinctive judgment confutes any hope you may have that nature and circumstances may excuse you in 
any other sin.” 


Homily II 

not. For up to a certain point thou hast confidence, viz. that which ariseth from the true 
knowledge. What then, if any one should now say that on the score of knowledge thou and 
the Greek will be accounted of like desert? Would it not disgust thee? I think so, indeed. 
For thou wouldest say that the Greek, having of his own wherewith to attain knowledge, 
was not willing. If then the latter also should say that God ought to have implanted knowledge 
in us naturally, wilt thou not laugh him to scorn, and say to him, “But why didst thou not 
seek for it? why wast thou not in earnest even as I?” And thou wilt stand firm with much 
confidence, and say that it was extreme folly to blame God for not implanting knowledge 
by nature. And this thou wilt say, because thou hast obtained what appertains to knowledge. 
So also hadst thou performed what appertains to practice, thou wouldest not have raised 
these questions: but thou art tired of virtuous practice, therefore thou shelterest thyself with 
these inconsiderate words. But how could it be at all right to cause that by necessity one 
should become good? Then shall we next have the brute beasts contending with us about 
virtue, seeing that some of them are more temperate than ourselves. 

But thou sayest, “I had rather have been good by necessity, and so forfeited all rewards, 
than evil by deliberate choice, to be punished and suffer vengeance.” But it is impossible 
that one should ever be good by necessity. If therefore thou knowest not what ought to be 
done, shew it, and then we will tell you what is right to say. But if thou knowest that unclean- 
ness is wicked, wherefore dost thou not fly from the evil thing? 

“I cannot,” thou sayest. But others who have done greater things than this will plead 
against thee, and will more than prevail to stop thy mouth. For thou, perhaps, though living 
with a wife, art not chaste; but another even without a wife keeps his chastity inviolate. Now 
what excuse hast thou for not keeping the rule, while another even leaps beyond the lines 15 
that have been drawn to mark it? 

But thou sayest “I am not of this sort in my bodily frame, or my turn of mind.” That is 
for want, not of power, but of will. For thus I prove that all have a certain aptness towards 
virtue: That which a man cannot do, neither will he be able to do though necessity be laid 
upon him; but, if, necessity being laid upon him, he is able, he that leaveth it undone, leaveth 
it undone out of choice. The kind of thing I mean is this: to fly up and be borne towards 
heaven, having a heavy body, is even simply impossible. What then, if a king should command 
one to do this, and threaten death, saying, “Those men who do not fly, I decree that they 
lose their heads, or be burnt, or some other such punishment:” would any one obey him? 
Surely not. For nature is not capable of it. But if in the case of chastity this same thing were 
done, and he were to lay down laws that the unclean should be punished, be burnt, be 
scourged, should suffer the extremity of torture, would not many obey the law? “No” thou 
wilt say: “for there is appointed, even now, a law forbidding to commit adultery 16 and all 

15 Ta OKappara. The image is borrowed from the gymnastic exercise of leaping. 

16 From the time of Constantine to that of Justinian it was a capital offence. Gibbon, e. 44. note 197. 


Homily II 

do not obey it.” Not because the fear looses its power, but because the greater part expect 
to be unobserved. So that if when they were on the point of committing an unclean action 
the legislator and the judge came before them, the fear would be strong enough to cast out 
the lust. Nay, were I to apply another kind of force inferior to this; were I to take the man 
and remove him from the beloved person, and shut him up close in chains, he will be able 
to bear it, without suffering any great harm. Let us not say then that such an one is by nature 
evil: for if a man were by nature good, he could never at any time become evil; and if he 
were by nature evil, he could never be good. But now we see that changes take place rapidly, 
and that men quickly shift from this side to the other, and from that fall back again into 
this. And these things we may see not in the Scriptures only, for instance, that publicans 
have become apostles; and disciples, traitors; and harlots, chaste; and robbers, men of good 
repute; and magicians have worshipped; and ungodly men passed over unto godliness, both 
in the New Testament and in the Old; but even every day a man may see many such things 
occurring. Now if things were natural, they could not change. For so we, being by nature 
susceptible, could never by any exertions become void of feeling. For that which is whatever 
it is by nature, can never fall away from such its natural condition. No one, for example, 
ever changed from sleeping to not sleeping: no one from a state of corruption unto incor- 
ruption: no one from hunger to the perpetual absence of that sensation. Wherefore neither 
are these things matters of accusation, nor do we reproach ourselves for them; nor ever did 
any one, meaning to blame another, say to him, “O thou, corruptible and subject to passion:” 
but either adultery or fornication, or something of that kind, we always lay to the charge of 
those who are responsible; and we bring them before judges, who blame and punish, and 
in the contrary cases award honors. 

[11.] Since then both from our conduct towards one another, and from others’ conduct 
to us when judged, and from the things about which we have written laws, and from the 
things wherein we condemn ourselves, though there be no one to accuse us; and from the 
instances of our becoming worse through indolence, and better through fear; and from the 
cases wherein we see others doing well and arriving at the height of self-command, 
(cpiAooocpfac;) it is quite clear that we also have it in our power to do well: why do we, the 
most part, deceive ourselves in vain with heartless pretexts and excuses, bringing not only 
no pardon, but even punishment intolerable? When we ought to keep before our eyes that 
fearful day, and to give heed to virtue; and after a little labor, obtain the incorruptible crowns? 
For these words will be no defence to us; rather our fellow-servants, and those who have 
practised the contrary virtues, will condemn all who continue in sin: the cruel man will be 
condemned by the merciful; the evil, by the good; the fierce, by the gentle; the grudging, by 
the courteous; the vain-glorious, by the self-denying; the indolent, by the serious; the intem- 
perate, by the sober-minded. Thus will God pass judgment upon us, and will set in their 
place both companies; on one bestowing praise, on the other punishment. But God forbid 


Homily II 

that any of those present should be among the punished and dishonored, but rather among 
those who are crowned and the winners of the kingdom. Which may God grant us all to 
obtain through the grace and loving-kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ; with Whom unto 
the Father and the Holy Ghost be glory, power, honor, now and ever, and unto everlasting 
ages. Amen. 


Homily III 

Homily III. 

1 Cor. i. 10 

Now I beseech you, brethren, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak of 
the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfected together 
in the same mind and in the same judgment. 

What I have continually been saying, that we must frame our rebukes gently and 
gradually, this Paul doth here also; in that, being about to enter upon a subject full of many 
dangers and enough to tear up the Church from her foundations he uses very mild language. 
His word is that he “beseeches” them, and beseeches them “through Christ;” as though not 
even he were sufficient alone to make this supplication, and to prevail. 

But what is this, “I beseech you through Christ?” “I take Christ to fight on my side, and 
to aid me, His injured and insulted Name.” An awful way of speaking indeed! lest they 
should prove hard and shameless: for sin makes men restless. Wherefore if at once (av pev 
euGscoc; siunAri^ric; Savil. av pi] Ben.) you sharply rebuke you make a man fierce and im- 
pudent: but if you put him to shame, you bow down his neck, you check his confidence, 
you make him hang down his head. Which object being Paul’s also, he is content for a while 
to beseech them through the Name of Christ. And what, of all things, is the object of his 

“That ye may all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions [schisms] among 
you.” The emphatic force of the word “schism,” I mean the name itself, was a sufficient ac- 
cusation. For it was not that they had become many parts, each entire within itself, but rather 

1 n 

the One [Body which originally existed] had perished. For had they been entire Churches, 
there might be many of them; but if they were divisions, then that first One was gone. For 
that which is entire within itself not only does not become many by division into many 
parts, but even the original One is lost. Such is the nature of divisions. 

[2.] In the next place, because he had sharply dealt with them by using the word “schism,” 
he again softens and soothes them, saying, “That ye may be perfectly joined together in the 
same mind and in the same judgment.” That is; since he had said, “That ye may all speak 
the same thing;” “do not suppose,” he adds, “that I said concord should be only in words; I 
seek for that harmony which is of the mind.” But since there is such a thing as agreement 
in words, and that hearty, not however on all subjects, therefore he added this, “That ye may 
be perfected together.” For he that is united in one thing, but in another dissents, is no longer 
“perfected,” nor fitted in to complete accordance. There is also such a thing as harmony of 
opinions, where there is not yet harmony of sentiment; for instance, when having the same 

17 i.e. the bodies formed by separation. 


Homily III 

faith we are not joined together in love: for thus, in opinions we are one, (for we think the 
same things,) but in sentiment not so. And such was the case at that time; this person 
choosing one [leader], and that, another. For this reason he saith it is necessary to agree 
both in “mind” and in “judgment.” For it was not from any difference in faith that the 
schisms arose, but from the division of their judgment through human contentiousness. 

[3.] But seeing that whoso is blamed is unabashed so long as he hath no witnesses, observe 
how, not permitting them to deny the fact, he adduces some to bear witness. 

Ver. 11. “For it hath been signified unto me concerning you, my brethren, by them 
which are of the household of Chloe.” Neither did he say this at the very beginning, but first 
he brought forward his charge; as one who put confidence in his informants. Because, had 
it not been so, he would not have found fault: for Paul was not a person to believe lightly. 
Neither then did he immediately say, “it hath been signified,” lest he might seem to blame 
on their authority: neither does he omit all mention of them, lest he should seem to speak 
only from himself. And again, he styles them “brethren;” for although the fault be plain, 
there is nothing against calling people brethren still. Consider also his prudence in not 
speaking of any distinct person, but of the entire family; so as not to make them hostile to- 
wards the informer: for in this way he both protects him, and fearlessly opens the accusation. 
For he had an eye to the benefit not of the one side only, but of the other also. Wherefore 
he saith not, “It hath been declared to me by certain,” but he indicates also the household, 
lest they might suppose that he was inventing. 

[4.] What was “declared? “That there are contentions among you.” Thus, when he is 
rebuking them, he saith, “That there be no divisions among you;” but when he is reporting 
the statements of others, he doth it more gently; saying, “For it hath been declared unto 
me. . .that there are contentions among you; in order that he might not bring trouble upon 
the informants. 

Next he declares also the kind of contention. 

Ver. 12. “That each one of you saith, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas.” 
“I say, contentions,” saith he, “I mean, not about private matters, but of the more grievous 
sort.” “That each one of you saith;” for the corruption pervaded not a part, but the whole 
of the Church. And yet they were not speaking about himself, nor about Peter, nor about 
Apollos; but he signifies that if these were not to be leaned on, much less others. For that 
they had not spoken about them, he saith further on: “And these things I have transferred 
in a figure unto myself and Apollos, that ye may learn in us not to go beyond the things 
which are written.” For if it were not right for them to call themselves by the name of Paul, 
and of Apollos, and of Cephas, much less of any others. If under the Teacher and the first 
of the Apostles, and one that had instructed so much people, it were not right to enroll 
themselves, much less under those who were nothing. Byway of hyperbole then, seeking to 
withdraw them from their disease, he sets down these names. Besides, he makes his argument 


Homily III 

less severe, not mentioning by name the rude dividers of the Church, but concealing them, 
as behind a sort of masks, with the names of the Apostles. 

“I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas.” Not esteeming himself before Peter 
hath he set his name last, but preferring Peter to himself, and that greatly. He arranged his 
statement in the way of climax, (Kara au^qaiv) that he might not be supposed to do this 
for envy; or, from jealousy, to be detracting from the honor of others. Wherefore also he 
put his own name first. For he who puts himself foremost to be rejected, doth so not for 
love of honor, but for extreme contempt of this sort of reputation. He puts himself, you see, 
in the way of the whole attack, and then mentions Apollos, and then Cephas. Not therefore 
to magnify himself did he do this, but in speaking of wrong things he administers the requisite 
correction in his own person first. 

[5.] But that those who addicted themselves to this or that man were in error, is evident. 
And rightly he rebukes them, saying, “Ye do not well in that ye say, ‘I am of Paul, and I of 
Apollos, and I of Cephas.’” But why did he add, “And I of Christ?” For although these who 
addicted themselves to men were in error, not surely (ou'5e tiou Bened. ou Squou Savil.) 
those who dedicated themselves unto Christ. But this was not his charge, that they called 
themselves by the Name of Christ, but that they did not all call themselves by that Name 
alone. And I think that he added this of himself, wishing to make the accusation more 
grievous, and to point out that by this rule Christ must be considered as belonging to one 
party only: although they were not so using the Name themselves. For that this was what 
he hinted at he declared in the sequel, saying, 

Ver. 13. “Is Christ divided.” What he saith comes to this: “Ye have cut in pieces Christ, 
and distributed His body.” Here is anger! here is chiding! here are words full of indignation! 
For whenever instead of arguing he interrogates only, his doing so implies a confessed ab- 

But some say that he glanced at something else, in saying, “Christ is divided:” as if he 
had said, “He hath distributed to men and parted the Church, and taken one share Himself, 
giving them the other.” Then in what follows, he labors to overthrow this absurdity, saying, 
“Was Paul crucified for you, or were ye baptized into the name of Paul?” Observe his Christ- 
loving mind; how thenceforth he brings the whole matter to a point in his own name, 
shewing, and more than shewing, that this honor belongs to no one. And that no one might 
think it was envy which moved him to say these things, therefore he is constantly putting 
himself forward. Observe, too, his considerate way, in that he saith not, “Did Paul make the 
world? did Paul from nothing produce you into being?” But only those things which belonged 
as choice treasures to the faithful, and were regarded with great solicitude — those he specifies, 
the Cross, and Baptism, and the blessings following on these. For the loving- kindness of 
God towards men is shewn by the creation of the world also: in nothing, however, so much 


Homily III 

as by the (xfjc; ouYKara(3do£coc;) condescension through the Cross. And he said not, “did 
Paul die for you?” but, “was Paul crucified?” setting down also the kind of death. 

“Or were ye baptized into the name of Paul?” Again, he saith not, “did Paul baptize 
you?” For he did baptize many: but this was not the question, by whom they had been bap- 
tized, but, into whose name they had been baptized! For since this also was a cause of 
schisms, their being called after the name of those who baptized them, he corrects this error 
likewise saying, “Were ye baptized into the name of Paul?” “Tell me not,” saith he, “who 
baptized, but into whose name. For not he that baptizeth, but he who is invoked in the 
Baptism, is the subject of enquiry. For this is He who forgives our sins .” 

And at this point he stays the discourse, and does not pursue the subject any further. 
For he saith not, “Did Paul declare to you the good things to come? Did Paul promise you 
the kingdom of heaven?” Why, then, I ask, doth he not add these questions also? Because 
it is not all as one, to promise a kingdom and to be crucified. For the former neither had 
danger nor brought shame; but the latter, all these. Moreover, he proves the former from 
the latter: for having said, (Rom. viii. 32.) “He that spared not His own Son,” he adds, “How 
shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” And again, (Rom. v. 10.) “For if when 
we were enemies we were reconciled unto God by the death of His Son, much more bring 
reconciled, we shall be saved.” This was one reason for his not adding what I just mentioned: 
and also because the one they had not as yet, but of the other they had already made trial. 
The one were in promise; the other had already come to pass. 

[6.] Ver. 14. “I thank God that I baptized none of you but Crispus and Gaius.” “Why 
are you elate at having baptized, when I for my part even give thanks that I have not done 
so!” Thus saying, by a kind of divine art (otKOVopiKuic;) he does away with their swelling 
pride upon this point; not with the efficacy of the baptism, (God forbid,) but with the folly 
of those who were puffed up at having been baptizers: first, by showing that the Gift is not 
theirs; and, secondly, by thanking God therefore. For Baptism truly is a great thing: but its 
greatness is not the work of the person baptizing, but of Him who is invoked in the Baptism: 
since to baptize is nothing as regards man’s labor, but is much less than preaching the 
Gospel. Yea, again I say, great indeed is Baptism, and without baptism it is impossible to 
obtain the kingdom. Still a man of no singular excellence is able to baptize, but to preach 
the Gospel there is need of great labor. 

Ver. 15. He states also the reason, why he giveth thanks that he had baptized no one. 
What then is this reason? “Lest anyone should say that ye were baptized into my own name.” 
Why, did he mean that they said this in those other cases? Not at all; but, “I fear,” saith he, 

18 This seems to allude to the words of the ancient Oriental Creed, as preserved by S. Cyril of Jerusalem, “I 
believe in one Baptism of Repentance, for the Remission of Sins;” (see Bp. Bull, ]ud. Eccl. Cath. c. vi. §. 4. &c.) 
into which Creed, in all probability, the people of Antioch had been baptized. 


Homily III 

“lest the disease should proceed even to that. For if, when insignificant persons and of little 
worth baptize, a heresy ariseth, had I, the first announcer of Baptism, baptized many, it was 
likely that they forming a party, would not only call themselves by my name, but also ascribe 
the Baptism to me.” For if from the inferiors so great an evil arose, from those of higher 
order it would perhaps have gone on to something far more grievous. 

Ver. 16. Then, having abashed those who were unsound in this respect and subjoining, 
“I baptized also the house of Stephanas,” he again drags down their pride, saying besides, 
“I know not whether I baptized any other.” For by this he signifies that neither did he seek 
much to enjoy the honor accruing hereby from the multitude, nor did he set about this work 
for glory’s sake. 

Ver. 17. And not by these only, but also by the next words, he greatly represses their 
pride, saying, “Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel:” for the more labor- 
ious part, and that which needed much toil and a soul of iron, and that on which all depended, 
was this. And therefore it was that Paul had it put into his hand. 

And why, not being sent to baptize, did he baptize? Not in contention with Him that 
sent him, but in this instance laboring beyond his task. For he saith not, “I was forbidden,” 
but, “I was not sent for this, but for that which was of the greatest necessity.” For preaching 
the Gospel is a work perhaps for one or two; but baptizing, for everyone endowed with the 
priesthood. For a man being instructed and convinced, to take and baptize him is what any 
one whatever might do: for the rest, it is all effected by the will of the person drawing near, 
and the grace of God. But when unbelievers are to be instructed, there must be great labor, 
great wisdom. And at that time there was danger also annexed. In the former case the whole 
thing is done, and he is convinced, who is on the point of initiation: and it is no great thing 
when a man is convinced, to baptize him. But in the later case the labor is great, to change 
the deliberate will, to alter the turn of mind, and to tear up error by the roots, and to plant 
the truth in its place. 

Not that he speaks out all this, neither doth he argue in so many words that Baptism 
has no labor, but that preaching has. For he knows how always to subdue his tone, whereas 
in the comparison with heathen wisdom he is very earnest, the subject enabling him to use 
more vehemency of language. 

Not therefore in opposition to Him that sent him did he baptize; but, as in the case of 
the widows 19 , though the apostles had said, (Acts vi. 2.) “it is not fit that we should leave 
the Word of God and serve tables,” he discharged the office (Acts xii. 25. rf]v SiotKovfav) 
of a deacon, not in opposition to them, but as something beyond his task: so also here. For 
even now, we commit this matter to the simpler sort of presbyters, but the word of doctrine 
unto the wiser: for there is the labor and the sweat. Wherefore he saith himself, (1 Tim. v. 

19 Perhaps the allusion is to such places as Acts 11. 30; 24. 17; 1 Cor. 16. 4; &c. 


Homily III 

17.) “Let the Elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who 
labor in the word and in teaching.” For as to teach the wrestlers in the games is the part of 
a spirited and skilful trainer, but to place the crown on the conquerors head may be that of 
one who cannot even wrestle, (although it be the crown which adds splendor to the conquer- 
or,) so also in Baptism. It is impossible to be saved without it, yet it is no great thing which 
the baptizer doth, finding the will ready prepared. 

[7.] “Not in wisdom of words, lest the Cross of Christ should be made of none effect.” 

Having brought down the swelling pride of those who were arrogant because of their 
baptizing, he changes his ground afterwards to meet those who boasted about heathen wis- 
dom, and against them he puts on his armor with more vehemency. For to those who were 
puffed up with baptizing he said, “I give thanks that I baptized no one;” and, “for Christ 
sent me not to baptize.” He speaks neither vehemently nor argumentatively, but, having 
just hinted his meaning in a few words, passeth on quickly. But here at the very outset he 
gives a severe blow, saying, “Lest the Cross of Christ be made void.” Why then pride thyself 
on a thing which ought to make thee hide thy face? Since, if this wisdom is at war with the 
Cross and fights with the Gospel, it is not meet to boast about it, but to retire with shame. 
For this was the cause why the Apostles were not wise; not through any weakness of the 
Gift, but lest the Gospel preached suffer harm. The sort of people therefore above mentioned 
were not those employed in advocating the Word: rather they were among its defamers. 
The unlearned men were the establishers of it. This was able to check vain glory, this to 
repress arrogance, this to enforce moderation. 

“But if it was ‘not by wisdom of speech,’ why did they send Apollos who was eloquent?” 
It was not, he replies, through confidence in his power of speech, but because he was (Acts 
xviii. 24, 29) “mighty in the Scriptures,” and “confuted the Jews.” And besides the point in 
question was that the leaders and first disseminators of the word were not eloquent; since 
these were the very persons to require some great power, for the expulsion of error in the 
first instance; and then, namely at the very outset, was the abundant strength needed. Now 
He who could do without educated persons at first, if afterwards some being eloquent were 
admitted by Him, He did so not because He wanted them, but because He would make no 
distinctions. For as He needed not wise men to effect whatever He would, so neither, if any 
were afterwards found such, did He reject them on that account. 

[8.] But prove to me that Peter and Paul were eloquent. Thou canst not: for they were 
“unlearned and ignorant men!” As therefore Christ, when He was sending out His disciples 
into the world, having shewn unto them His power in Palestine first, and said, (St. Luke 
xxii. 35. (uito5qpcn:oc;, rec. text UTtoSqparcnv.) “When I sent you forth without purse and 

20 aypcippcxTOi KOii iSitorou. Acts iv. 13: there spoken of St. Peter and St. John, and by St. Chrysostom here 
quoted from memory as of St. Peter and St. Paul. 


Homily III 

wallet and shoe, lacked ye any thing?” permitted them from that time forward to possess 
both a wallet and a purse; so also He hath done here: for the point was the manifestation of 
Christ’s power, not the rejection of persons from the Faith on account of their Gentile wis- 
dom, if they were drawing nigh. When the Greeks then charge the disciples with being un- 
educated, let us be even more forward in the charge than they. Nor let anyone say, “Paul 
was wise;” but while we exalt those among them who were great in wisdom and admired 
for their excellency of speech, let us allow that all on our side were uneducated; for it will 
be no slight overthrow which they will sustain from us in that respect also: and so the victory 
will be brilliant indeed. 

I have said these things, because I once heard a Christian disputing in a ridiculous 
manner with a Greek, and both parties in their mutual fray ruining themselves. For what 
things the Christian ought to have said, these the Greek asserted; and what things it was 
natural to expect the Greek would say, these the Christian pleaded for himself. As thus: the 
dispute being about Paul and Plato, the Greek endeavored to show that Paul was unlearned 
and ignorant; but the Christian, from simplicity, was anxious to prove that Paul was more 
eloquent than Plato. And so the victory was on the side of the Greek, this argument being 
allowed to prevail. For if Paul was a more considerable person than Plato, many probably 
would object that it was not by grace, but by excellency of speech that he prevailed; so that 
the Christian’s assertion made for the Greek. And what the Greek said made for the Chris- 
tian’s; for if Paul was uneducated and yet overcame Plato, the victory, as I was saying, was 
brilliant; the disciples of the latter, in a body, having been attracted by the former, unlearned 
as he was, and convinced, and brought over to his side. From whence it is plain that the 
Gospel was a result not of human wisdom, but of the grace of God. 

Wherefore, lest we fall into the same error, and be laughed to scorn, arguing thus with 
Greeks whenever we have a controversy with them; let us charge the Apostles with want of 
learning; for this same charge is praise. And when they say that the Apostles were rude, let 
us follow up the remark and say that they were also untaught, and unlettered, and poor, and 
vile, and stupid, and obscure. It is not a slander on the Apostles to say so, but it is even a 
glory that, being such, they should have outshone the whole world. For these untrained, 
and rude, and illiterate men, as completely vanquished the wise, and powerful, and the tyr- 
ants, and those who flourished in wealth and glory and all outward good things, as though 
they had not been men at all: from whence it is manifest that great is the power of the Cross; 
and that these things were done by no human strength. For the results do not keep the 
course of nature, rather what was done was above all nature. Now when any thing takes 
place above nature, and exceedingly above it, on the side of rectitude and utility; it is quite 
plain that these things are done by some Divine power and cooperation. And observe; the 
fisherman, the tentmaker, the publican, the ignorant, the unlettered, coming from the far 
distant country of Palestine, and having beaten off their own ground the philosophers, the 


Homily III 

masters of oratory, the skillful debaters, alone prevailed against them in a short space of 
time; in the midst of many perils; the opposition of peoples and kings, the striving of nature 
herself, length of time, the vehement resistance of inveterate custom, demons in arms, the 
devil in battle array and stirring up all, kings, rulers, peoples, nations, cities, barbarians, 
Greeks, philosophers, orators, sophists, historians, laws, tribunals, divers kinds of punish- 
ments, deaths innumerable and of all sorts. But nevertheless all these were confuted and 
gave way when the fisherman spake; just like the light dust which cannot bear the rush of 
violent winds. Now what I say is, let us learn thus to dispute with the Greeks; that we be not 
like beasts and cattle, but prepared concerning “the hope which is in us.” (1 St. Pet. iii. 15.) 
And let us pause for a while to work out this topic, no unimportant one; and let us say to 
them, How did the weak overcome the strong; the twelve, the world? Not by using the same 
armor, but in nakedness contending with men in arms. 

For say, if twelve men, unskilled in matters of war, were to leap into an immense and 
armed host of soldiers, themselves not only unarmed but of weak frame also; and to receive 
no harm from them, nor yet be wounded, though assailed with ten thousand weapons; if 
while the darts were striking them, with bare naked body they overthrew all their foes using 
no weapons but striking with the hand, and in conclusion killed some, and others took 
captive and led away, themselves receiving not so much as a wound; would anyone have 
ever said that the thing was of man? And yet the trophy of the Apostles is much more 
wonderful than that. For a naked man’s escaping a wound is not so wonderful by far as that 
the ordinary and unlettered person — that a fisherman — should overcome such a degree of 
talent: (Ssivorriroc;) and neither for fewness, nor for poverty, nor for dangers, nor for pre- 
possession of habit, nor for so great austerity of the precepts enjoined, nor for the daily 
deaths, nor for the multitude of those who were deceived, nor for the great reputation of 
the deceivers be turned from his purpose. 

[9.] Let this, I say, be our way of overpowering them, and of conducting our warfare 
against them; and let us astound them by our way of life rather than by words. For this is 
the main battle, this is the unanswerable argument, the argument from conduct. For though 
we give ten thousand precepts of philosophy in words, if we do not exhibit a life better than 
theirs, the gain is nothing. For it is not what is said that draws their attention, but their en- 
quiry is, what we do; and they say, “Do thou first obey thine own words, and then admonish 
others. But if while thou sayest, infinite are the blessings in the world to come, thou seem 
thyself nailed down to this world, just as if no such things existed, thy works to me are more 
credible than thy words. For when I see thee seizing other men’s goods, weeping immoder- 
ately over the departed, doing ill in many other things, how shall I believe thee that there is 
a resurrection?” And what if men utter not this in words? they think it and turn it often in 
their minds. And this is what stays the unbelievers from becoming Christians. 


Homily III 

Let us win them therefore by our life. Many, even among the untaught, have in that way 
astounded the minds of philosophers, as having exhibited in themselves also that philosophy 
which lies in deeds, and uttered a voice clearer than a trumpet by their mode of life and self- 
denial. For this is stronger than the tongue. But when I say, “one ought not to bear malice,” 
and then do all manner of evils to the Greek, how shall I be able by words to win him, while 
by my deeds I am frightening him away? Let us catch them then by our mode of life; and 
by these souls let us build up the Church, and of these let us amass our wealth. There is 
nothing to weigh against a soul, not even the whole world. So that although thou give 
countless treasure unto the poor, thou wilt do no such work as he who converteth one soul. 
(Jer. xv. 19.) “For he that taketh forth the precious from the vile shall be as my mouth:” so 
He speaks. A great good it is, I grant, to have pity on the poor; but it is nothing equal to the 
withdrawing them from error. For he that doth this resembles Paul and Peter: we being 
permitted to take up their Gospel, not with perils such as theirs; — with endurance of famines 
and pestilences, and all other evils, (for the present is a season of peace;) — but so as to display 
that diligence which cometh of zeal. For even while we sit at home we may practice this kind 
of fishery. Who hath a friend or relation or inmate of his house, these things let him say, 
these do; and he shall be like Peter and Paul. And why do I say Peter and Paul? He shall be 
the mouth of Christ. For He saith, “He that taketh forth the precious from the vile shall be 
as My mouth.” And though thou persuade not to-day, to-morrow thou shalt persuade. And 
though thou never persuade, thou shalt have thine own reward in full. And though thou 
persuade not all, a few out of many persuade all men; but still they discoursed with all, and 
for all they have their reward. For not according to the result of the things that are well done, 
but according to the intention of the doers, is God wont to assign the crowns; though thou 
pay down but two farthings, He receiveth them; and what He did in the case of the widow, 
the same will He do also in the case of those who teach. Do not thou then, because thou 
canst not save the world, despise the few; nor through longing after great things, withdraw 
thyself from the lesser. If thou canst not an hundred, take thou charge of ten; if thou canst 
not ten, despise not even five; if thou canst not five, do not overlook one; and if thou canst 
not one, neither so despair, nor keep back what may be done by thee. Seest thou not how, 
in matters of trade, they who are so employed make their profit not only of gold but of silver 
also? For if we do not slight the little things, we shall keep hold also of the great. But if we 
despise the small, neither shall we easily lay hand upon the other. Thus individuals become 
rich, gathering both small things and great. And so let us act; that in all things enriched, we 
may obtain the kingdom of heaven; through the grace and loving-kindness of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, through Whom and with Whom unto the Father together with the Holy Spirit be 
glory, power, honor, now and henceforth and for evermore. Amen. 


Homily IV 

Homily IV. 

1 Cor. i. 18-20 

For the word of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but to us which are saved it is the 
power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the prudence of 
the prudent will I reject. Where is the Wise? Where is the Scribe? Where is the Disputer 
of the World? 

To the sick and gasping even wholesome meats are unpleasant, friends and relations 
burdensome; who are often times not even recognized, but are rather accounted intruders. 
Much like this often is the case of those who are perishing in their souls. For the things 
which tend to salvation they know not; and those who are careful about them they consider 
to be troublesome. Now this ensues not from the nature of the thing, but from their disease. 
And just what the insane do, hating those who take care of them, and besides reviling them, 
the same is the case with unbelievers also. But as in the case of the former, they who are in- 
sulted then more than ever compassionate them, and weep, taking this as the worst symptom 
of the disease in its intense form, when they know not their best friends; so also in the case 
of the Gentiles let us act; yea more than for our wives let us wail over them, because they 
know not the common salvation. For not so dearly ought a man to love his wife as we should 
love all men, and draw them over unto salvation; be a man a Gentile, or be he what he may. 
For these then let us weep; for “the word of the Cross is to them foolishness,” being itself 
Wisdom and Power. For, saith he, “the word of the Cross to them that perish is foolishness.” 
For since it was likely that they, the Cross being derided by the Greeks, would resist and 
contend by aid of that wisdom, which came (forsooth) of themselves, as being disturbed by 
the expression of the Greeks; Paul comforting them saith, think it not strange and unaccount- 
able, which is taking place. This is the nature of the thing, that its power is not recognized 
by them that perish. For they are beside themselves, and behave as madmen; and so they 
rail and are disgusted at the medicines which bring health. 

[2.] But what sayest thou, O man? Christ became a slave for thee, “having taken the 
form of a slave,” (Phil. ii. 7.) and was crucified, and rose again. And when thou oughtest for 
this reason to adore Him risen and admire His loving kindness; because what neither father, 
nor friend, nor son, did for thee, all this the Lord wrought for thee, the enemy and offend- 
er — when, I say, thou oughtest to admire Him for these things, callest thou that foolishness, 
which is full of so great wisdom? Well, it is nothing wonderful; for it is a mark of them that 
perish not to recognize the things which lead to salvation. Be not troubled, therefore, for it 
is no strange nor unaccountable event, that things truly great are mocked at by those who 
are beside themselves. Now such as are in this mind you cannot convince by human wisdom. 
Nay, if you want so to convince them, you do but the contrary. For the things which transcend 


Homily IV 

reasoning require faith alone. Thus, should we set about convincing men by reasonings, 
how God became man, and entered into the Virgin’s womb, and not commit the matter 
unto faith, they will but deride the more. Therefore they who inquire by reasonings, it is 
they who perish. 

And why speak I of God? for in regard of created things, should we do this, great derision 
will ensue. For suppose a man, wishing to make out all things by reasoning; and let him try 
by thy discourse to convince himself how we see the light; and do thou try to convince him 
by reasoning. Nay, thou canst not: for if thou sayest that it suffices to see by opening the 
eyes, thou hast not expressed the manner, but the fact. For “why see we not,” one will say, 
“by our hearing, and with our eyes hear? And why hear we not with the nostril, and with 
the hearing smell?” If then, he being in doubt about these things, and we unable to give the 
explanation of them, he is to begin laughing, shall not we rather laugh him to scorn? “For 
since both have their origin from one brain, since the two members are near neighbors to 
each other, why can they not do the same work?” Now we shall not be able to state the cause 
nor the method of the unspeakable and curious operation; and should we make the attempt, 
we should be laughed to scorn. Wherefore, leaving this unto God’s power and boundless 
wisdom, let us be silent. 

Just so with regard to the things of God; should we desire to explain them by the wisdom 
which is from without, great derision will ensue, not from their infirmity, but from the folly 
of men. For the great things of all no language can explain. 

[3.] Now observe: when I say, “He was crucified;” the Greek saith, “And how can this 
be reasonable? Himself He helped not when undergoing crucifixion and sore trial at the 
moment of the Cross: how then after these things did He rise again and help others? For if 
He had been able, before death was the proper time.” (For this the Jews actually said.) (St. 
Matt, xxvii. 41, 42.) “But He who helped not Himself, how helped he others? There is no 
reason in it,” saith he. True, O man, for indeed it is above reason; and unspeakable is the 
power of the Cross. For that being actually in the midst of horrors, He should have shewn 
Himself above all horrors; and being in the enemy’s hold should have overcome; this cometh 
of Infinite Power. For as in the case of the Three Children, their not entering the furnace 
would not have been so astonishing, as that having entered in they trampled upon the 
fire; — and in the case of Jonah, it was a greater thing by far, after he had been swallowed by 
the fish, to suffer no harm from the monster, than if he had not been swallowed at all; — so 
also in regard of Christ; His not dying would not have been so inconceivable, as that having 
died He should loose the bands of death. Say not then, “why did He not help Himself on 
the Cross?” for He was hastening on to close conflict with death himself. (See Hooker, E. P. 
v. 48. 9.) He descended not from the Cross, not because He could not, but because He would 
not. For Him Whom the tyranny of death restrained not, how could the nails of the Cross 


Homily IV 

[4.] But these things, though known to us, are not so as yet to the unbelievers. Wherefore 
he said that “the word of the Cross is to them that perish foolishness; but to us who are saved 
it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the 
prudence of the prudent will I reject.” Nothing from himself which might give offence, does 
he advance up to this point; but first he comes to the testimony of the Scripture, and then 
furnished with boldness from thence, adopts more vehement words, and saith, 

Ver. 20, 21. “Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? Where is the wise? 
Where the Scribe? Where the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom 
of this world? For seeing that in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom knew 
God, it was God’s good pleasure through the foolishness of the preaching to save them that 
believe.” Having said, “It is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,” He subjoins 
demonstration from facts, saying, “Where is the wise? where the Scribe?” at the same time 
glancing at both Gentiles and Jews. For what sort of philosopher, which among those who 
have studied logic, which of those knowing in Jewish matters, hath saved us and made 
known the truth? Not one. It was the fisherman’s work, the whole of it. 

Having then drawn the conclusion which he had in view, and brought down their pride, 
and said, “Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” he states also the reason 
why these things were so done. “For seeing that in the wisdom of God,” saith he, “the world 
through its wisdom knew not God,” the Cross appeared. Now what means, “in the wisdom 
of God?” The wisdom apparent in those works whereby it was His will to make Himself 
known. For to this end did he frame them, and frame them such as they are, that by a sort 
of proportion, (dvctAoycoc;) from the things which are seen admiration of the Maker might 
be learned. Is the heaven great, and the earth boundless? Wonder then at Him who made 
them. For this heaven, great as it is, not only was made by Him, but made with ease; and 
that boundless earth, too, was brought into being even as if it had been nothing. Wherefore 
of the former He saith, (Ps. cii. 25. roov xetpwv. LXX.) “The works of Thy fingers are the 
heavens,” and concerning the earth, (Is. xl. 23. LXX.) “Who hath made the earth as it were 
nothing.” Since then by this wisdom the world was unwilling to discover God, He employed 
what seemed to be foolishness, i.e. the Gospel, to persuade men; not by reasoning, but by 
faith. It remains that where God’s wisdom is, there is no longer need of man’s. For before, 
to infer that He who made the world such and so great, must in all reason be a God possessed 
of a certain uncontrollable, unspeakable power; and by these means to apprehend Him; — this 
was the part of human wisdom. But now we need no more reasonings, but faith alone. For 
to believe on Him that was crucified and buried, and to be fully persuaded that this Person 
Himself both rose again and sat down on high; this needeth not wisdom, nor reasonings, 
but faith. For the Apostles themselves came in not by wisdom, but by faith, and surpassed 
the heathen wise men in wisdom and loftiness, and that so much the more, as to raise dis- 


Homily IV 

putings is less than to receive by faith the things of God. For this transcends all human un- 

But how did He “destroy wisdom?” Being made known to us by Paul and others like 
him, He shewed it to be unprofitable. For towards receiving the evangelical proclamation, 
neither is the wise profited at all by wisdom, nor the unlearned injured at all by ignorance. 
But if one may speak somewhat even wonderful, ignorance rather than wisdom is a condition 
suitable for that impression, and more easily dealt with. For the shepherd and the rustic will 
more quickly receive this, once for all both repressing all doubting thoughts and delivering 
himself to the Lord. In this way then He destroyed wisdom. For since she first cast herself 
down, she is ever after useful for nothing. Thus when she ought to have displayed her 
proper powers, and by the works to have seen the Lord, she would not. Wherefore though 
she were now willing to introduce herself, she is not able. For the matter is not of that kind; 
this way of knowing God being far greater than the other. You see then, faith and simplicity 
are needed, and this we should seek every where, and prefer it before the wisdom which is 
from without. For “God,” saith he, “hath made wisdom foolish.” 

But what is, “He hath made foolish?” He hath shewn it foolish in regard of receiving 
the faith. For since they prided themselves on it, He lost no time in exposing it. For what 
sort of wisdom is it, when it cannot discover the chief of things that are good? He caused 
her therefore to appear foolish, after she had first convicted herself. For if when discoveries 
might have been made by reasoning, she proved nothing, now when things proceed on a 
larger scale, how will she be able to accomplish aught? now when there is need of faith alone, 
and not of acuteness? You see then, God hath shewn her to be foolish. 

It was His good pleasure, too, by the foolishness of the Gospel to save; foolishness, I say, 
not real, but appearing to be such. For that which is more wonderful yet is His having pre- 
vailed by bringing in, not another such wisdom more excellent than the first, but what 
seemed to be foolishness. He cast out Plato for example, not by means of another philosopher 
of more skill, but by an unlearned fisherman. For thus the defeat became greater, and the 
victory more splendid. 

[5.] Ver. 22-24. Next, to shew the power of the Cross, he saith, “For Jews ask for signs 
and Greeks seek after wisdom: but we preach Christ crucified, unto Jews a stumbling-block, 
and unto Greeks foolishness; but unto them that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ 
the Power of God, and the Wisdom of God.” 

Vast is the import of the things here spoken! For he means to say how by contraries 
God hath overcome, and how the Gospel is not of man. What he saith is something of this 
sort. When, saith he, we say unto the Jews, Believe; they answer, Raise the dead, Heal the 
demoniacs, Shew unto us signs. But instead thereof what say we? That He was crucified, 
and died, who is preached. And this is enough, not only to fail in drawing over the unwilling, 


Homily IV 

but even to drive away those even who are willing. Nevertheless, it drives not away, but at- 
tracts and holds fast and overcomes. 

Again; the Greeks demand of us a rhetorical style, and the acuteness of sophistry. But 
preach we to these also the Cross: and that which, in the case of the Jews seemed to be 
weakness, this in the case of the Greeks is foolishness. Wherefore, when we not only fail in 
producing what they demand, but also produce the very opposites of their demand; (for the 
Cross has not merely no appearance of being a sign sought out by reasoning, but even the 
very annihilation of a sign; — is not merely deemed no proof of power, but a conviction of 
weakness; — not merely no display of wisdom, but a suggestion of foolishness;) — when 
therefore they who seek for signs and wisdom not only receive not the things which they 
ask, but even hear the contrary to what they desire, and then by means of contraries are 
persuaded; — how is not the power of Him that is preached unspeakable? As if to some one 
tempest-tost and longing for a haven, you were to shew not a haven but another wilder 
portion of the sea, and so could make him follow with thankfulness? Or as if a physician 
could attract to himself the man that was wounded and in need of remedies, by promising 
to cure him not with drugs, but with burning of him again! For this is a result of great power 
indeed. So also the Apostles prevailed, not simply without a sign, but even by a thing which 
seemed contrary to all the known signs. Which thing also Christ did in the case of the blind 
man. For when He would heal him, He took away the blindness by a thing that increased 
it: i.e. He put on clay. (St. John ix. 6.) As then by means of clay He healed the blind man, so 
also by means of the Cross He brought the world to Himself. That certainly was adding an 
offence, not taking an offence away. So did He also in creation, working out things by their 
contraries. With sand, for instance, He walled in the sea, having made the weak a bridle to 
the strong. He placed the earth upon water, having taken order that the heavy and the dense 
should be borne on the soft and fluid. By means of the prophets again with a small piece of 
wood He raised up iron from the bottom. (2 Kings vi. 5-7.) In like manner also with the 
Cross He hath drawn the world to Himself. For as the water beareth up the earth, so also 
the Cross beareth up the world. You see now, it is proof of great power and wisdom, to 
convince by means of the things which tell directly against us. Thus the Cross seems to be 
matter of offence; and yet far from offending, it even attracts. 

[6.] Ver. 25. All these things, therefore, Paul bearing in mind, and being struck with 
astonishment, said that “the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God 
is stronger than men;” in relation to the Cross, speaking of a folly and weakness, not real 
but apparent. For he is answering with respect unto the other party’s opinion. For that which 
philosophers were not able by means of reasoning to accomplish, this, what seemed to be 
foolishness did excellently well. Which then is the wiser, he that persuadeth the many, or 
he that persuadeth few, or rather no one? He who persuadeth concerning the greatest points, 
or about matters which are nothing? (ppSev ovtojv Reg. ms. pr| Ssovtojv Bened.) What 


Homily IV 

great labors did Plato endure, and his followers, discoursing to us about a line, and an angle, 
and a point, and about numbers even and odd, and equal unto one another and unequal, 
and such-like spiderwebs; (for indeed those webs are not more useless to man’s life than 
were these subjects;) and without doing good to any one great or small by their means, so 
he made an end of his life. How greatly did he labor, endeavoring to show that the soul was 
immortal! and even as he came he went away, having spoken nothing with certainty, nor 
persuaded any hearer. But the Cross wrought persuasion by means of unlearned men; yea 
it persuaded even the whole world: and not about common things, but in discourse of God, 
and the godliness which is according to truth, and the evangelical way of life, and the judg- 
ment of the things to come. And of all men it made philosophers: the very rustics, the utterly 
unlearned. Behold how “the foolishness of God is wiser than men,” and “the weakness 
stronger?” How “stronger?” Because it overran the whole world, and took all by main force, 
and while men were endeavoring by ten thousands to extinguish the name of the Crucified, 
the contrary came to pass: that flourished and increased more and more, but they perished 
and wasted away; and the living at war with the dead, had no power. So that when the Greek 
calls me foolish, he shows himself above measure foolish: since I who am esteemed by him 
a fool, evidently appear wiser than the wise. When he calls me weak, then he shows himself 
to be weaker. For the noble things which publicans and fishermen were able to effect by the 
grace of God, these, philosophers, and rhetoricians, and tyrants, and in short the whole 
world, running ten thousand ways here and there, could not even form a notion of. For 
what did not the Cross introduce? The doctrine concerning the Immortality of the Soul; 
that concerning the Resurrection of the Body; that concerning the contempt of things present; 
that concerning the desire of things future. Yea, angels it hath made of men, and all, every 
where, practice self-denial, (cpiAooocpouoi) and show forth all kinds of fortitude. 

[7.] But among them also, it will be said, many have been found contemners of death. 
Tell me who? was it he who drank the hemlock? But if thou wilt, I can bring forward ten 
thousand such from within the Church. For had it been lawful when prosecution befel them 
to drink hemlock and depart, all had become more famous than he. And besides, he drank 
when he was not at liberty to drink or not to drink; but willing or against his will he must 
have undergone it: no effect surely of fortitude, but of necessity, and nothing more. For even 
robbers and man-slayers, having fallen under the condemnation of their judges, have suffered 
things more grievous. But with us it is all quite the contrary. For not against their will did 
the martyrs endure, but of their will, and being at liberty not to suffer; shewing forth fortitude 
harder than all adamant. This then you see is no great wonder, that he whom I was mention- 
ing drank hemlock; it being no longer in his power not to drink, and also when he had arrived 
at a very great age. For when he despised life he stated himself to be seventy years old; if this 
can be called despising. Fori for my part could not affirm it: nor, what is more, can anyone 
else. But show me some one enduring firm in torments for godliness’ sake, as I shew thee 


Homily IV 

ten thousand everywhere in the world. Who, while his nails were tearing out, nobly endured? 
Who, while his body joints were wrenching (dvaaKanxopevojv) asunder? Who, while his 
body was cut in pieces, (rou atoparop Kara pepop TiopGoupevou; rrjp KecpaArjp;) member by 
member? or his head? Who, while his bones were forced out by levers? (avapoxAeuopevojv) 
Who, while placed without intermission upon frying-pans? Who, when thrown into a 
caldron? Show me these instances. For to die by hemlock is all as one with a man’s continuing 
in a state of sleep. Nay even sweeter than sleep is this sort of death, if report say true. But if 
certain [of them] did endure torments, yet of these, too, the praise is gone to nothing. For 
on some disgraceful occasion they perished; some for revealing mysteries; some for aspiring 
to dominion; others detected in the foulest crimes; others again rashly, and fruitlessly, and 
foolishly, there being no reason for it, made away with themselves. But not so with us. 
Wherefore of the deeds of those nothing is said; but these flourish and daily increase. Which 
Paul having in mind said, “The weakness of God is stronger than all men.” 

[8.] For that the Gospel is divine, even from hence is evident; namely, whence could it 
have occurred to twelve ignorant men to attempt such great things? who sojourned in 
marshes, in rivers, in deserts; who never at any time perhaps had entered into a city nor into 
a forum; — whence did it occur, to set themselves in array against the whole world? For that 
they were timid and unmanly, he shews who wrote of them, not apologizing, nor enduring 
to throw their failings into the shade: which indeed of itself is a very great token of the truth. 
What then doth he say about them? That when Christ was apprehended, after ten thousand 
wonders, they fled; and he who remained, being the leader of the rest, denied. Whence was 
it then that they who when Christ was alive endured not the attack of the Jews; now that He 
was dead and buried, and as ye say, had not risen again, nor had any talk with them, nor 
infused courage into them — whence did they set themselves in array against so great a world? 
Would they not have said among themselves, “what meaneth this? Himself He was not able 
to save, and will He protect us? Himself He defended not when alive, and will He stretch 
out the hand unto us now that he is dead? Himself, when alive, subdued not even one nation; 
and are we to convince the whole world by uttering His Name?” How, I ask, could all this 
be reasonable, I will not say, as something to be done, but even as something to be imagined? 
From whence it is plain that had they not seen Him after He was risen, and received most 
ample proof of his power, they would not have ventured so great a cast. 

[9.] For suppose they had possessed friends innumerable; would they not presently have 
made them all enemies, disturbing ancient customs, and removing their father’s landmarks? 
(opta Ms. Reg. £0r| Ben.) But as it was, they had them for enemies, all, both their own 
countrymen and foreigners. For although they had been recommended to veneration by 
everything external, would not all men have abhorred them, introducing a new polity? But 
now they were even destitute of everything; and it was likely that even on that account all 
would hate and scorn them at once. For whom will you name? The Jews? Nay, they had 


Homily IV 

against them an inexpressible hatred on account of the things which had been done unto 
the Master. The Greeks then? Why, first of all, these had rejected one not inferior to them; 
and no man knew this so well as the Greeks. For Plato, who wished to strike out a new form 
of government, or rather a part of government; and that not by changing the customs relating 
to the gods, but merely by substituting one line of conduct for another; was cast out of Sicily, 
and went near to lose his life. This however did not ensue: so that he lost his liberty alone. 

And had not a certain Barbarian been more gentle than the tyrant of Sicily, nothing could 
have rescued the philosopher from slavery throughout life in a foreign land. And yet it is 
not all one to innovate in affairs of the kingdom, and in matters of religious worship. For 
the latter more than any thing else causes disturbance and troubles men. For to say, “let 
such and such an one marry such a woman, and let the guardians [of the commonwealth] 
exercise their guardianship so and so,” is not enough to cause any great disturbance: and 
especially when all this is lodged in a book, and no great anxiety on the part of the legislator 
to carry the proposals into practice. On the other hand, to say, “they be no gods which men 
worship, but demons; He who was crucified is God;” ye well know how great wrath it kindled, 
how severely men must have paid for it, what a flame of war it fanned. 

For Protagoras, who was one of them, having dared to say, “I know of no gods,” not 
going round the world and proclaiming it, but in a single city, was in the most imminent 

21 Plutarch, in Dion. t. v. p. 162. ed. Bryan. “Plato having been introduced to Dionysius, they discoursed in 
general about human virtue; when Plato maintained that any thing might be credible rather than for tyrants to 
be truly brave. Then changing the subject, he argued concerning Justice, that the life of the just is blessed, of the 
unjust miserable. The tyrant was not well pleased with the discourse, understanding it as a reproof: and he was 
vexed with the bystanders, who mightily approved the man, and were taken with his remarks. At last, in anger 
and bitterness, he asked him what was his object in coming to Sicily. He said, To look for a good man. By 
heaven, he replied, it is clear you have not found him. Now Dion’s friends thought this had been the end of his 
anger, and as Plato was anxious to go, they provided him with a passage in a galley, in which Pollis the Spartan 
was sailing to Greece. But Dionysius secretly besought Pollis, if possible, to kill him at sea, but at any rate to sell 
him for a slave, for that he would never be the worse for it, but just as happy, in that Justice of his, though he 
became a slave. Upon which it is said that Pollis took Plato to Aigina and sold him there, the Aiginetae being at 
war with Athens, and having made a decree, that any Athenian coming there should be sold.” 

22 <puAaK£<;, Plato’s word in the Republic for citizens. 


Homily IV 

90 94 9 c 9/r 

peril of his life . And Diagoras the Milesian , and Theodorus, who was called Atheist," 
although they had friends, and that influence which comes from eloquence, and were held 
in admiration because of their philosophy; yet nevertheless none of these profited them. 
And the great Socrates, too, he who surpassed in philosophy all among them, for this reason 
drank hemlock, because in his discourses concerning the gods he was suspected of moving 
things a little aside. Now if the suspicion alone of innovation brought so great danger on 
philosophers and wise men, and on those who had attained boundless popularity; and if 
they were not only unable to do what they wished, but were themselves also driven from 
life and county; how canst thou choose but be in admiration and astonishment, when thou 
seest that the fisherman hath produced such an effect upon the world, and accomplished 
his purposes; hath overcome all both Barbarians and Greeks. 

[10.] But they did not, you will say, introduce strange gods as the others did. Well, and 
in that you are naming the very point most to be wondered at; that the innovation is twofold, 
both to pull down those which are, and to announce the Crucified. For from whence came 
it into their minds to proclaim such things? whence, to be confident about their event? 
Whom of those before them could they perceive to have prospered in any such attempt? 
Were not all men worshipping demons? Were not all used to make gods of the elements? 
Was not the difference [but] in the mode of impiety? But nevertheless they attacked all, and 
overthrew all, and overran in a short time the whole world, like a sort of winged beings; 
making no account of dangers, of deaths, of the difficulty of the thing, of their own fewness, 
of the multitude of the opponents, of the authority, the power, the wisdom of those at war 
with them. For they had an ally greater than all these, the power of Him that had been cru- 
cified and was risen again. It would not have been so wondrous, had they chosen to wage 
war with the world in the literal sense, (noAepov aioGryrov) as this which in fact has taken 
place. For according to the law of battle they might have stood over against the enemies, 
and occupying some adverse ground, have arrayed themselves accordingly to meet their 

23 Cic. deNat. Deor. i. 23. Protagoras of Abdera, a distinguished Sophist of his time, having opened a certain 
treatise with these words, “Concerning the Gods, I cannot speak of them either as being or as not being;” the 
Athenians banished him from Athens and Attica, and burned his books in the Assembly. He flourished about 
B.C. 444. Clinton, Fasti Hellenici , i. 53. 

24 B.C. 466. Clinton, F. H. i. 39. The Scholiast on Aristophanes calls him “a writer of songs, called an Atheist; 
a bringer in of strange gods. Whereupon the Athenians condemned him, voting a talent of silver to whoever 
should kill him, and two talents to any one who should bring him alive: and prevailed on the Peloponnesians 
to join with them.” Of Theodorus, Cicero says that he was threatened with death by Lysimachus, but he does 
not say that it was for his “atheism:” this must have been between B.C. 306-281. Clinton, F.H. i. 174, 184. 

25 6 MrjAtoq Schol. in Aristoph. Ran. 323. 

26 Cic. de. N. D. i. 23; Tusc. Disp. i. 43. 


Homily IV 

foes, and have taken their time for attack and close conflict. But in this case it is not so. For 
they had no camp of their own, but were mingled with their enemies, and thus overcame 
them. Even in the midst of their enemies as they went about, they eluded their grasp, (Aa(3ac; 
Reg. (3Aa(3ac; Bened.) and became superior, and achieved a splendid victory; a victory which 
fulfils the prophecy that saith, “Even in the midst of thine enemies thou shalt have dominion.” 
(Ps. cx. 2.) For this it was, which was full of all astonishment, that their enemies having them 
in their power, and casting them into prison and chains not only did not vanquish them, 
but themselves also eventually had to bow down to them: the scourgers to the scourged, the 
binders in chains to those who were bound, the persecutors to the fugitives. All these things 
then we could say unto the Greeks, yea much more than these; for the truth has enough and 
greatly to spare. (ttoAArj rrjc; aAqGsiac; f] nspiouaia.) And if ye will follow the argument, we 
will teach you the whole method of fighting against them. In the meanwhile let us here hold 
fast two heads; How did the weak overcome the strong? and, From whence came it into 
their thoughts, being such as they were, to form such plans, unless they enjoyed Divine aid? 

[1 1.] So far then as to what we have to say. But let us shew forth by our actions all excel- 
lencies of conduct, and kindle abundantly the fire of virtue. For “ye are lights,” saith he, 
“shining in the midst of the world.” (Phil. ii. 15.) And unto each of us God hath committed 
a greater function than He hath to the sun: greater than heaven, and earth, and sea; by so 
much greater, as spiritual things be more excellent than things sensible. When then we look 
unto the solar orb, and admire the beauty, and the body and the brightness of the luminary, 
let us consider again that greater and better is the light which is in us, as indeed the darkness 
also is more dreadful unless we take heed. And in fact a deep night oppresses the whole 
world. This is what we have to dispel and dissolve. It is night not among heretics and among 
Greeks only, but also in the multitude on our side, in respect of doctrines and of life. For 
many entirely disbelieve the resurrection; many fortify themselves with their horoscope; 
(yeveoiv saurotc; eniteixhjouai) many adhere to superstitious observances, and to omens, 
and auguries, and presages. And some likewise employ amulets and charms. But to these 
also we will speak afterwards, when we have finished what we have to say to the Greeks. 

In the meanwhile hold fast the things which have been said, and be ye fellow-helpers 
with me in the battle; by your way of life attracting them to us and changing them. For, as 
I am always saying, He that teaches high morality (rcepi cpiAoaocpiac;) ought first to teach it 
in his own person, and be such as his hearers cannot do without. Let us therefore become 
such, and make the Greeks feel kindly towards us. And this will come to pass if we make up 
our minds not only not to do ill, but also to suffer ill. Do we not see when little children 
being borne in their father’s arms give him that carries them blows on the cheek, how sweetly 
the father lets the boy have his fill of wrath, and when he sees that he has spent his passion, 
how his countenance brightens up? In like manner let us also act; and as fathers with children, 


Homily IV 

so let us discourse with the Greeks. For all the Greeks are children. And this, some of their 
own writers have said, that “that people are children always, and no Greek is an old man.” 
Now children cannot bear to take thought for any thing useful; so also the Greeks would be 
for ever at play; and they he on the ground, grovelling in posture and in affections. Moreover, 
children oftentimes, when we are discoursing about important things, give no heed to any- 
thing that is said, but will even be laughing all the time: such also are the Greeks. When we 
discourse of the Kingdom, they laugh. And as spittle dropping in abundance from an infant’s 
mouth, which oftentimes spoils its meat and drink, such also are the words flowing from 
the mouth of the Greeks, vain and unclean. Even if thou art giving children their necessary 
food, they keep on vexing those who furnish it with evil speech, and we must bear with them 
all the while. (5ia(3acrra(j£O0ai). Again, children, when they see a robber entering and taking 
away the furniture, far from resisting, even smile on the designing fellow; but shouldest 
thou take away the little basket or the rattle (oelorpa) or any other of their playthings, they 
take it to heart and fret, tear themselves, and stamp on the floor; just so do the Greeks also: 
when they behold the devil pilfering all their patrimony, and even the things which support 
their life, they laugh, and run to him as to a friend: but should any one take away any pos- 
session, be it wealth or any childish thing whatsoever of that kind, they cry, they tear 
themselves. And as children expose their limbs unconsciously and blush not for shame; so 
the Greeks, wallowing in whoredoms and adulteries, and laying bare the laws of nature, and 
introducing unlawful intercourses, are not abashed. 

Ye have given me vehement applause and acclamation" , but with all your applause 
have a care lest you be among those of whom these things are said. Wherefore I beseech 
you all to become men: since, so long as we are children, how shall we teach them manliness? 
How shall we restrain them from childish folly? Let us, therefore, become men; that we may 
arrive at the measure of the stature which hath been marked out for us by Christ, and may 
obtain the good things to come: through the grace and loving-kindness, etc. etc. 

27 This custom is referred to by St. Chrysostom in many places as also by St. Augustin and others: the earliest 
mention of it appears to be the censure passed on Paul of Samosata in the synod of Antioch, A.D. 272, for de- 
manding and encouraging such applause. Vid. Euseb. E. H. vii. 30. St. Chrysostom in his 30th Horn, on the Acts 
says, “When I am applauded in my speaking, for the moment I feel as an infirm human being, (for why should 
not one confess the truth?).... but when I am come home, and consider that those who have been applauding 
are no wise profited, but rather by their applause and acclamation have lost what good they might have attained, 

I feel as if I had said all to no purpose And often I have thought of making a law to forbid all signs of 

applause, and to enforce listening in silence and with becoming order Yea, if you please, let us even now 

pass such a law Why do you applaud at the very moment that I am making a rule to check that practice? 

&c.” iv. 784. Ed. Savil. Vid. Bingham Antiquit. xiv. 4. 27; Suicer, v. Kporoc;. 


Homily V 

Homily V. 

1 Cor. i. 26, 27 

For behold your calling, brethren, that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, 
not many noble, [ are called;] but God chose the foolish things of the world, that he might 
put to shame them that are wise. 

He hath said that “the foolishness of God is wiser than men;” he hath shewed that human 
wisdom is cast out, both by the testimony of the Scriptures and by the issue of events; by 
the testimony, where he says, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;” by the event, putting 
his argument in the form of a question, and saying, “Where is the wise? Where the Scribe?” 
Again; he proved at the same time that the thing is not new, but ancient, as it was presignified 
and foretold from the beginning. For, “It is written,” saith he, “I will destroy the wisdom of 
the wise.” Withal he shews that it was neither inexpedient nor unaccountable for things to 
take this course: (for, “seeing that in the wisdom of God the world,” saith he, “knew not 
God, God was well pleased through the foolishness of preaching to save them which believe:”) 
and that the Cross is a demonstration of ineffable power and wisdom, and that the foolishness 
of God is far mightier than the wisdom of man. And this again he proves not by means of 
the teachers, but by means of the disciples themselves. For, “Behold your calling,” saith he: 
that not only teachers of an untrained sort, but disciples also of the like class, were objects 
of His choice; that He chose “not many wise men” (that is his word) “according to the flesh.” 
And so that of which he is speaking is proved to surpass both in strength and wisdom, in 
that it convinces both the many and the unwise: it being extremely hard to convince an ig- 
norant person, especially when the discourse is concerning great and necessary things. 
However, they did work conviction. And of this he calls the Corinthians themselves as wit- 
nesses. For, “behold your calling, brethren,” saith he: consider; examine: for that doctrines 
so wise, yea, wiser than all, should be received by ordinary men, testifies the greatest wisdom 
in the teacher. 

[2.] But what means, “according to the flesh?” According to what is in sight; according 
to the life that now is; according to the discipline of the Gentiles. Then, lest he should seem 
to be at variance with himself, (for he had convinced both the Proconsul, (Acts xiii. 12.) and 
the Areopagite, (Acts xvii. 34.) and Apollos; (Acts xviii. 26: through Aquila and Priscilla) 
and other wise men, too, we have seen coming over to the Gospel;) he said not, No wise 
man, but, “Not many wise men.” For he did not designedly (coiOKSKAqpcopevcoc;) call the 
ignorant and pass by the wise, but these also he received, yet the others in much larger 
number. And why? Because the wise man according to the flesh is full of extreme folly; and 

28 (lAiitere. He takes it imperatively; see below. So also the Vulgate, Videte. 


Homily V 

it is he who especially answers to the term “foolish,” when he will not cast away his corrupt 
doctrine. And as in the case of a physician who might wish to teach certain persons the 
secrets of his art, those who know a few things, having a bad and perverse mode of practicing 
the art which they make a point of retaining, would not endure to learn quietly, but they 
who knew nothing would most readily embrace what was said: even so it was here. The 
unlearned were more open to conviction, for they were free from the extreme madness of 
accounting themselves wise. For indeed the excess of folly is in these more than any, these, 
I say, who commit unto reasoning things which cannot be ascertained except by faith. Thus, 
suppose the smith by means of the tongs drawing out the red-hot iron; if any one should 
insist on doing it with his hand, we should vote him guilty of extreme folly: so in like manner 
the philosophers who insisted on finding out these things for themselves disparaged the 
faith. And it was owing to this that they found none of the things they sought for. 

“Not many mighty, not many noble;” for these also are filled with pride. And nothing 
is so useless towards an accurate knowledge of God as arrogance, and being nailed down 
(npoar|Au)o0cu) to wealth: for these dispose a man to admire things present, and make no 
account of the future; and they stop up the ears through the multitude of cares: but “the 
foolish things of the world God chose:” which thing is the greatest sign of victory, that they 
were uneducated by whom He conquers. For the Greeks feel not so much shame when they 
are defeated by means of the “wise,” but are then confounded, when they see the artisan and 
the sort of person one meets in the market more of a philosopher than themselves. Wherefore 
also he said himself, “That He might put to shame the wise.” And not in this instance alone 
hath he done this, also in the case of the other advantages of life. For, to proceed, “the weak 
things of the world He chose that He might put to shame the strong.” For not unlearned 
persons only, but needy also, and contemptible and obscure He called, that He might humble 
those who were in high places. 

V. 28. “And the base things of the world, and the things that are despised, and the things 
that are not, that he might bring to naught the things that are.” Now what doth He call 
things “that are not?” Those persons who are considered to be nothing because of their great 
insignificance. Thus hath He shown forth His great power, casting down the great by those 
who seem to be nothing. The same elsewhere he thus expresses, (2 Cor. xii. 9.) “For my 
strength is made perfect in weakness.” For a great power it is, to teach outcasts and such as 
never applied themselves to any branch of learning, how all at once to discourse wisely on 
the things which are above the heavens. For suppose a physician, an orator, or any one else: 
we then most admire him, when he convinces and instructs those completely uneducated. 
Now, if to instil into an uneducated man the rules of art be a very wonderful thing, much 
more things which pertain to so high philosophy. 

[3.] But not for the wonders sake only, neither to shew His own power, hath He done 
this, but to check also the arrogant. And therefore he both said before, “That he might 


Homily V 

confound the wise and the strong, that He might bring to nought the things which are,” and 
here again, 

V. 29. “That no flesh should glory in the presence of God.” For God doeth all things to 
this end, to repress vainglory and pride, to pull down boasting.” “Do you, too,” saith he, 
“employ yourselves in that work.” He doth all, that we may put nothing to our own account; 
that we may ascribe all unto God. And have ye given yourselves over unto this person or to 
that? And what pardon will ye obtain?” 

For God Himself hath shown that it is not possible we should be saved only by ourselves: 
and this He did from the beginning. For neither then could men be saved by themselves; 
but it required their compassing the beauty of the heaven, and the extent of the earth, and 
the mass of creation besides; if so they might be led by the hand to the great artificer of all 
the works. And He did this, repressing beforehand the self-conceit which was after to arise. 
Just as if a master who had given his scholar charge to follow wheresoever he might lead, 
when he sees him forestalling, and desiring to learn all things of himself, should permit him 
to go quite astray; and when he hath proved him incompetent to acquire the knowledge, 
should thereupon at length introduce to him what himself has to teach: so God also com- 
manded in the beginning to trace Him by the idea which the creation gives; but since they 
would not, He, after showing by the experiment that they are not sufficient for themselves, 
conducts them again unto Him by another way. He gave for a tablet, the world; but the 
philosophers studied not in those things, neither were willing to obey Him, nor to approach 
unto Him by that way which Himself commanded. He introduces another way more evident 
than the former; one that might bring conviction that man is not of himself alone sufficient 
unto himself. For then scruples of reasoning might be started, and the Gentile wisdom em- 
ployed, on their part whom He through the creation was leading by the hand; but now, 
unless a man become a fool, that is, unless he dismiss all reasoning and all wisdom, and 
deliver up himself unto the faith, it is impossible to be saved. You see that besides making 
the way easy, he hath rooted up hereby no trifling disease, namely, in forbidding to boast, 
and have high thoughts: “that no flesh should glory:” for hence came the sin, that men insisted 
on being wiser than the laws of God; not willing so to obtain knowledge as He had enacted: 
and therefore they did not obtain it at all. So also was it from the beginning. He said unto 
Adam, “Do such a thing, and such another thou must not do.” He, as thinking to find out 
something more, disobeyed; and even what he had, he lost. He spake unto those that came 
after, “Rest not in the creature; but by means of it contemplate the Creator.” They, forsooth, 
as if making out something wiser than what had been commanded, set in motion windings 
innumerable. Hence they kept dashing against themselves and one another, and neither 
found God, nor concerning the creature had any distinct knowledge; nor had any meet and 
true opinion about it. Wherefore again, with a very high hand, (sk tioAAou tou nspiovroc;) 
lowering their conceit. He admitted the uneducated first, showing thereby that all men need 


Homily V 

the wisdom from above. And not only in the matter of knowledge, but also in all other 
things, both men and all other creatures He hath constituted so as to be in great need of 
Him; that they might have this also as a most forcible motive of submission and attachment, 
lest turning away they should perish. For this cause He did not suffer them to be sufficient 
unto themselves. For if even now many, for all their indigency, despise Him, were the case 
not so, whither would they not have wandered in haughtiness? So that He stayed them from 
boasting as they did, not from any grudge to them, but to draw them away from the destruc- 
tion thence ensuing. 

[4.] V. 30 “But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who was made unto us wisdom from God, 
and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” 

The expression “of Him,” I suppose he uses here, not of our introduction into being, 
but with reference to the faith: that is, to our having become children of God, “not of blood, 
nor of the will of the flesh.” (St. John i. 13) “Think not then, that having taken away our 
glorying, He left us so: for there is another, a greater glorying, His gift. For ye are the children 
of Him in whose presence it is not meet to glory, having become so through Christ.” And 
since he has said, “The foolish things of the world He chose, and the base,” he signifies that 
they are nobler than all, having God for their Father. And of this nobility of ours, not this 
person or that, but Christ is the cause, having made us wise, and righteous, and holy. For 
so mean the words, “He was made unto us wisdom.” 

Who then is wiser than we are who have not the wisdom of Plato, but Christ Himself, 
God having so willed. 

But what means, “of God?” Whenever he speaks great things concerning the Only-Be- 
gotten, he adds mention of the Father, lest any one should think that the Son is unbegotten. 
Since therefore he had affirmed His power to be so great, and had referred the whole unto 
the Son, saying that He had “become wisdom unto us, and righteousness, and sanctification 
and redemption;” — through the Son again referring the whole to the Father, he saith, “of 

But why said he not, He hath made us wise, but “was made unto us wisdom?” To show 
the copiousness of the gift. As if he had said, He gave unto us Himself. And observe how he 
goes on in order. For first He made us wise by delivering from error, and then righteous 
and holy, by giving us the Spirit; and He hath so delivered us from all our evils as to be “of 
Him,” and this is not meant to express communication of being, (ouctiojctsojc;) but is spoken 
concerning the faith. Elsewhere we find him saying, “We were made righteousness in Him;” 
in these words, “Him who knew no sin He made to be sin for us that we might be made the 
righteousness of God in Him;” (2 Cor. v. 21.) but now he saith, “He hath been made right- 
eousness unto us; so that whosoever will may partake plentifully.” For it is not this man or 
that who hath made us wise, but Christ. “He that glorieth,” therefore, “let him glory in Him,” 
not in such or such an one. From Christ have proceeded all things. Wherefore, having said, 


Homily V 

“Who was made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption,” 
he added, “that, according as it is written, he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” 

For this cause also he had vehemently inveighed against the wisdom of the Greeks, to 
teach men this lesson, (touto auro Savile; toutw aura) Bened.) and no other: that (as indeed 
is no more than just) they should boast themselves in the Lord. For when of ourselves we 
seek the things which are above us, nothing is more foolish, nothing weaker than we are. 
In such case, a tongue well whetted we may have; but stability of doctrine we cannot have. 
Rather, reasonings, being alone, are like the webs of spider. For unto such a point of madness 
have some advanced as to say that there is nothing real in the whole of being: yea, they 
maintain positively that all things are contrary to what appears. 

Say not therefore that anything is from thyself, but in all things glory in God. Impute 
unto no man anything at any time. For if unto Paul nothing ought to be imputed much less 
unto any others. For, saith he, (ch. iii. 6.) “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the in- 
crease.” He that hath learnt to make his boast in the Lord, will never be elated, but will be 
moderate at all times, and thankful under all circumstances. But not such is the mind of the 
Greeks; they refer all to themselves; wherefore even of men they make gods. In so great 
shame hath desperate arrogance plunged them. (e^erpaxpAiaev) 

[5.] It is time then, in what remains, to go forth to battle against these. Recollect where 
we left our discourse on the former day. We were saying that it was not possible according 
to human cause and effect that fishermen should get the better of philosophers. But never- 
theless it became possible: from whence it is clear that by grace it became so. We were saying 
that it was not possible for them even to conceive such great exploits: and we shewed that 
they not only conceived, but brought them to a conclusion with great ease. Let us handle, 
to-day, the same head of our argument: viz. From whence did it enter their thoughts to expect 
to overcome the world, unless they had seen Christ after He was risen? What? Were they 
beside themselves, to reckon upon any such thing inconsiderately and at random? For it 
goes even beyond all madness, to look, without Divine grace, for success in so great an un- 
dertaking. How did they succeed in it, if they were insane and frenzied? But if they were in 
their sober senses, as indeed the events shewed, how, but on receiving credible pledges from 
the heavens and enjoying the influence which is from above, did they undertake to go forth 
to so great wars, and to make their venture against earth and sea, and to strip and stand 
their ground so nobly, for a change in the customs of the whole world which had been so 
long time fixed, they being but twelve men? 

And, what is more, what made them expect to convince their hearers, by inviting them 
to heaven and the mansions above? Even had they been brought up in honor, and wealth, 
and power, and erudition, not even so would it have been at all likely that they should be 
roused to so burthensome an undertaking. However, there would have been somewhat more 
of reason in their expectation. But as the case now stands, some of them had been occupied 


Homily V 


about lakes, some about hides , some about the customs: than which pursuits nothing is 
more unprofitable towards philosophy, and the persuading men to have high imaginations: 
and especially when one hath no example to shew. Nay, they had not only no examples to 
make their success likely, but they had examples against all likelihood of success, and those 
within their own doors. 30 (evccuAcc) For many for attempting innovations had been utterly 
extinguished, I say not among the Greeks, for all that was nothing, but among the Jews 
themselves at that very time; who not with twelve men, but with great numbers had applied 
themselves to the work. Thus both Theudas and Judas, having great bodies of men, perished 
together with their disciples. And the fear arising from their examples was enough to control 
these, had they not been strongly persuaded that victory without divine power was out of 
the question. 

Yea, even if they did expect to prevail, with what sort of hopes undertook they such 
great dangers, except they had an eye to the world to come? But let us suppose that they 
hoped for no less than victory; what did they expect to gain from the bringing all men unto 
Him, “who is not risen again,” as ye say? For if now, men who believe concerning the king- 
dom of heaven and blessings unnumbered with reluctance encounter dangers, how could 
they have undergone so many for nothing, yea rather, for evil? For if the things which were 
done did not take place, if Christ did not ascend into heaven; surely in their obstinate zeal 
to invent these things, and convince all the world of them, they were offending God, and 
must expect ten thousand thunderbolts from on high. 

[6.] Or, in another point of view; if they had felt this great zeal while Christ was living, 
yet on His death they would have let it go out. For He would have seemed to them, had He 
not risen, as a sort of deceiver and pretender. Know ye not that armies while the general 
and king is alive, even though they be weak, keep together; but when those in such office 
have departed, however strong they may be, they are broken up? 

Tell me then, what were the enticing arguments whereupon they acted, when about to 
take hold of the Gospel, and to go forth unto all the world? Was there any kind of impediment 
wanting to restrain them? If they had been mad, (for I will not cease repeating it,) they could 
not have succeeded at all; for no one follows the advice of madmen. But if they succeeded 
as in truth they did succeed, and the event proves, then none so wise as they. Now if none 
were so wise as they, it is quite plain, they would not lightly have entered upon the preaching. 
Had they not seen Him after He was risen, what was there sufficient to draw them out unto 
this war? What which would not have turned them away from it? He said unto them, “After 
three days I will rise again,” and He made promises concerning the kingdom of heaven. He 

29 That is, some were fishers in the sea or lake of Tiberias, some, as St. Paul, engaged in making tents out of 

30 [Dr. Field prefers the reading, and these recent.] 


Homily V 

said, they should master the whole world, after they had received the Holy Spirit; and ten 
thousand other things besides these, surpassing all nature. So that if none of these things 
had come to pass, although they believed in Him while alive, after His death they would not 
have believed in Him, unless they had seen Him after He was risen. For they have said, 
“‘After three days,’ He said, ‘I will rise again,’ and He hath not arisen. He promised that He 
would give the Spirit, and He hath not sent Him. How then shall His sayings about the 
other world find credit with us, when His sayings about this are tried and found wanting?” 

And why, if He rose not again, did they preach that He was risen? “Because they loved 
Him,” you will say. But surely, it was likely that they would hate Him afterwards, for deceiving 
and betraying them; and because, having lifted them up with innumerable hopes, and di- 
vorced them from house, and parents, and all things, and set in hostility against them the 
entire nation of Jews, He had betrayed them after all. And if indeed the thing were of 
weakness, they might have pardoned it; but now it would be deemed a result of exceeding 
malice. For He ought to have spoken the truth, and not have promised heaven, being a 
mortal man, as ye say. So that the very opposite was the likely line for them to take; to pro- 
claim the deception, and declare Him a pretender and imposter. Thus again would they 
have been rid of all their perils; thus have put an end to the war. Moreover, seeing that the 
Jews gave money unto the soldiers to say that they stole the body, if the disciples had come 
forward and said, “We stole Him, He is not risen again,” what honor would they not have 
enjoyed? Thus it was in their power to be honored, nay, crowned. Why then did they for 
insults and dangers barter away these things, if it was not some Divine power which influ- 
enced them, and proved mightier than all these? 

[7.] But if we do not yet convince, take this also into consideration; that had this not 
been so, though they were ever so well disposed, they would not have preached this Gospel 
in His name, but would have treated Him with abhorrence. For ye know that not even the 
names of those who deceive us in this sort are we willing to hear. But for what reason 
preached they also His name? Expecting to gain the mastery through Him? Truly the contrary 
was natural for them to expect; that even if they had been on the point of prevailing they 
were ruining themselves by bringing forward the name of a deceiver. But if they wished to 
throw into the shade former events, their line was to be silent; at any rate, to contend for 
them earnestly was to excite more and more both of serious hostility and of ridicule. From 
whence then did it enter their thoughts to invent such things? I say, “invent:” for what they 
had heard, they had forgotten. But if, when there was no fear, they forgot many things, and 
some did not even understand, (as also the Evangelist himself saith,) now that so great a 
danger came upon them, how could it be otherwise than that all should fleet away from 
them? Why speak I of words? when even their love towards their Master Himself began 
gradually to fade away, through fear of what was coming: wherewith also He upbraided 
them. For since, before this, they hung upon him, and were asking continually, “Whither 


Homily V 

goest Thou,” but afterwards on His drawing out His discourse to so great length, and declar- 
ing the terrors which at the very time of the Cross, and after the Cross should befal them, 
they just continued speechless and frozen through fear; — hear how He alleges to them this 
very point saying, “None of you asketh Me, Whither goest Thou? But because I have said 
these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.” (St. John xvi. 5-6.) Now if the expect- 
ation that He would die and rise again was such a grief to them, had they failed to see Him 
after He was risen, how could it be less than annihilation? Yea, they would have been fain 
to sink into the depths of the earth, what with dejection at being so deceived, and what with 
dread of the future, feeling themselves sorely straightened. 

Again: from whence came their high doctrines? for the higher points, He said, they 
should hear afterwards. For, saith He, (St. John xvi. 12.) “I have many things to speak unto 
you, but ye cannot bear them now.” So that the things not spoken were higher. And one of 
the disciples was not even willing to depart with Him into Judea, when he heard of dangers, 

o 1 

but said, “Let us also go that we may die with Him,” (St. John xi. 16.) taking it hardly be- 
cause he expected that he should die. Now if that disciple, while he was with Him, expected 
to die and shrunk back on that account, what must he not have expected afterwards, when 
parted from Him and the other disciples, and when the exposure of their shameless conduct 
was so complete? 

[8.] Besides, what had they to say when they went forth? For the passion indeed all the 
world knew: for He had been hanged on high, upon the frame of wood, (bcpiou) and in mid- 
day, and in a chief city, and at a principal feast and that from which it was least permitted 
that any should be absent. But the resurrection no man saw of those who were without: 
which was no small impediment to them in working conviction. Again, that He was buried, 
was the common talk of all: and that His disciples stole His body, the soldiers and all the 
Jews declared: but that He had risen again, no one of them who were without knew by sight. 
Upon what ground then did they expect to convince the world? For if, while miracles were 
taking place, certain soldiers were persuaded to testify the contrary, upon what ground did 
these expect without miracles to do the work of preachers, and without having a farthing 
to convince land and sea concerning the resurrection? Again, if through desire of glory they 
attempted this, so much the rather would they have ascribed doctrines each one to himself, 
and not to Him that was dead and gone. Will it be said, men would not have believed them? 

31 St. Chrys. Horn. 62. on St. John. “All feared the violence of the Jews, but Thomas more than the rest. 
Wherefore also he said, Let us also &c. Some indeed say that he desired to share our Lord’s death: but it is not 
so: for it is the saying rather of a coward. Yet he was not reproved. For as yet He went on bearing their weakness. 
Afterwards, however, he (St. Thomas) became stronger than any, and irreproachable: This being the great 
wonder, that one so weak before the time of the Cross, after the Cross and faith in the Resurrection should be 
seen more zealous than all. So great is the power of Christ.” 


Homily V 

And which of the two was the likelier, being preached, to win their belief? He that was ap- 
prehended and crucified, or those who had escaped the hands of the Jews? 

[9.] Next, tell me with what view were they to take such a course? They did not imme- 
diately, leaving Judaea, go into the Gentile cities, but went up and down within its limit. But 
how, unless they worked miracles, did they convince? For if such they really wrought, (and 
work them they did,) it was the result of God’s power. If on the other hand they wrought 
none and prevailed, much more wonderful was the event. Knew they not the Jews — tell 
me — and their evil practice, and their soul full of grudgings? For they stoned even Moses, 
(Numb. xiv. 10. comp. Exod. xvii. 4.) after the sea which they had crossed on foot; after the 
victory, and that marvellous trophy which they raised without blood, by means of his hands, 
over the Egyptians who had enslaved them; after the manna; after the rocks, and the fountains 
of rivers which break out thence; after ten thousand miracles in the land of Egypt and the 
Red Sea and the wilderness. Jeremiah they cast into a pit, and many of the prophets they 
slew. Hear, for example, what saith Elias, after that fearful famine, and the marvellous rain, 
and the torch which he brought down from heaven, and the strange holocaust; driven, as 
he was, to the very extreme edge of their country: “Lord, thy prophets they have killed, thine 
altars they have digged down, and I am left alone, and they seek my life.” (1 Kings xix. 10.) 
Yet were not those (who were so persecuted) disturbing any of the established rules. Tell 
me then, what ground had men for attending to these of whom we are speaking? For, on 
one hand, they were meaner persons than any of the prophets; on the other, they were in- 
troducing just such novelties as had caused the Jews to nail even their Master to the Cross. 

And in another way, too, it seemed less unaccountable for Christ to utter such things 
than for them; for He, they might suppose, acted thus to acquire glory for himself; but these 
they would have hated even the more, as waging war with them in behalf of another. 

[10.] But did the laws of the Romans help them? Nay, by these they were more involved 
in difficulties. For their language was, (St. John xix. 12.) “Whosoever maketh himself a king 
is not Caesar’s friend.” So that this alone was a sufficient impediment to them, that of Him 
who was accounted an usurper they were first disciples, and afterwards desirous to strengthen 
His cause. What in the world then set them upon rushing into such great dangers? And by 
what statements about Him would they be likely to gain credit? that He was crucified? That 
He was born of a poor Jewish woman who had been betrothed to a Jewish carpenter? That 
He was of a nation hated by the world? Nay, all these things were enough not only to fail of 
persuading and attracting the hearers, but also to disgust every one; and especially when 
affirmed by the tent-maker and the fisherman. Would not the disciples then bear all these 
things in mind? Timid nature can imagine more than the reality, and such were their natures. 
Upon what ground then did they hope to succeed? Nay, rather, they had no hope, there 
being things innumerable to draw them aside, if so be that Christ had not risen. Is it not 
quite plain even unto most thoughtless that unless they had enjoyed a copious and mighty 


Homily V 

grace, and had received pledges of the resurrection, they would have been unable, I say not, 
to do and undertake these things, but even so much as to have them in their minds? For if 
when there were so great hinderances, in the way of their planning, I say not of their suc- 
ceeding, they yet both planned and brought to effect and accomplishing things greater than 
all expectation, every one, I suppose, can see that not by human power but by divine grace 
they wrought things. 

Now these arguments we ought to practice, not by ourselves only, but one with another; 
and thus also the discovery of what remains will be easier to us. 

[11.] And do not, because thou art an artisan, suppose that this sort of exercise is out 
of your province; for even Paul was a tent-maker. 

“Yes,” saith some one, “but at that time he was also filled with abundant grace, and out 
of that he spake all things” Well; but before this grace, he was at the feet of Gamaliel; yea, 
moreover, and he received the grace, because of this, that he shewed a mind worthy of the 
grace; and after these things he again put his hand to his craft. Let no one, therefore, of those 
who have trades be ashamed; but those, who are brought up to nothing and are idle, who 
employ many attendants, and are served by an immense retinue. For to be supported by 
continual hard work is a sort of asceticism. (cpiAooocpfac; ? iSoc; comp. Hooker, E. P. V. lxxii. 
18.) The souls of such men are clearer, and their minds better strung. For the man who has 
nothing to do is apter to say many things at random, and do many things at random; and 
he is busy all day long about nothing, a huge lethargy taking him up entirely. But he that is 
employed will not lightly entertain in himself any thing useless, in deeds, in words, or in 
thoughts; for his whole soul is altogether intent upon his laborious way of livelihood. Let 
us not therefore despise those who support themselves by the labor of their own hands; but 
let us rather call them happy on this account. For tell me, what thanks are due unto thee, 
when after having received thy portion from thy father, thou goest on not in any calling, 
but lavishing away the whole of it at random? Knowest thou not that we shall not all have 
to render the same account, but those who have enjoyed greater licence here a more exact 
one; those who were afflicted with labor, or poverty, or any thing else of this kind, one not 
so severe? And this is plain from Lazarus and the rich man. For as thou, for neglecting the 
right use of the leisure, art justly accused; so the poor man, who having full employment 
hath spent his remnant of time upon right objects, great will be the crowns which he shall 
receive. But dost thou urge that a soldier’s duties should at least excuse thee; and dost thou 
charge them with thy want of leisure? The excuse cannot be founded in reason. For Cornelius 
was a centurion, yet in no way did the soldier’s belt impair his strict rule of life. But thou, 
when thou art keeping holiday with dancers and players, and making entire waste of thy 
life upon the stage, never thinkest of excusing thyself from such engagements by the necessity 
of military service or the fear of rulers: but when it is the Church to which we call you, then 
occur these endless impediments. 


Homily V 

And what wilt thou say in the day, when thou seest the flame, and the rivers of fire, and 
the chains never to be broken; and shalt hear the gnashing of teeth? Who shall stand up for 
thee in that day, when thou shalt see him that hath labored with his own hand and hath 
lived uprightly, enjoying all glory; but thyself, who art now in soft raiment and redolent of 
perfumes, in incurable woe? What good will thy wealth and superfluity do thee? And the 
artisan — what harm will his poverty do him? 

Therefore that we may not suffer then, let us fear what is said now, and let all our time 
be spent in employment on things which are really indispensable. For so, having propitiated 
God in regard of our past sins, and adding good deeds for the future, we shall be able to attain 
unto the kingdom of heaven: through the favor and loving-kindness, etc., etc. 


Homily VI 

Homily VI. 

1 Cor. ii. 1, 2 

And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring 
unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save 
Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. 

Nothing was ever more prepared for combat than the spirit of Paul; or rather, I should 
say, not his spirit, (for he was not himself the inventor of these things,) but, nothing was 
ever equal to the grace working within him, which overcometh all things. For sufficient indeed 
is what had been said before to cast down the pride of the boasters about wisdom; nay, even 
a part of it had been enough. But to enhance the splendor of the victory, he contends anew 
for the points which he had been affirming; trampling upon the prostrate foe. Look at it in 
this way. He had brought forward the prophecy which saith, “I will destroy the wisdom of 
the wise.” He had shewn the wisdom of God, in that by means of what seemed to be foolish- 
ness, He destroyed the philosophy of the Gentiles; he had shewn that the “foolishness of 
God is wiser than men;” he had shewn that not only did He teach by untaught persons, but 
also chose untaught persons to learn of Him. Now he sheweth that both the thing itself 
which was preached, and the manner of preaching it, were enough to stagger people; and 
yet did not stagger them. As thus: “not only,” saith he, “are the disciples uneducated, but I 
myself also, who am the preacher.” 

Therefore he saith, “And I, brethren,” (again he useth the word “brethren,” to smooth 
down the harshness of the utterance,) “came not with excellency of speech, declaring unto 
you the testimony of God.” “What then? tell me, hadst thou chosen to come ‘with excellency,’ 
wouldest thou have been able?” “I, indeed, had I chosen, should not have been able; but 
Christ, if He had chosen, was able. But He would not, in order that He might render His 
trophy more brilliant.” Wherefore also in a former passage, shewing that it was His work 
which had been done, His will that the word should be preached in an unlearned manner, 
he said, “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel; not with wisdom of 
words.” But far greater, yea, infinitely greater, than Paul’s willing this, is the fact that Christ 
willed it. 

“Not therefore,” saith he, “by display of eloquence, neither armed with arguments from 
without, do I declare the testimony of God.” He saith not “the preaching,” but “the testi- 
mony of God;” which word was itself sufficient to withhold him. For he went about 
preaching death: and for this reason he added, “for I determined not to know anything 
among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” This was the meaning he meant to convey, 

32 to [laprupiov, the martyrdom, or testimony by death: see 1 Tim. ii. 6. 


Homily VI 

that he is altogether destitute of the wisdom which is without; as indeed he was saying above, 
“I came not with excellency of speech:” for that he might have possessed this also is plain; 
for he whose garments raised the dead and whose shadow expelled diseases, much more 
was his soul capable of receiving eloquence. For this is a thing which may be taught: but the 
former transcendeth all art. He then who knows things beyond the reach of art, much more 
must he have had strength for lesser things. But Christ permitted not; for it was not expedient. 
Rightly therefore he saith, “For I determined not to know any thing: “for I, too, for my part 
have just the same will as Christ.” 

And to me it seems that he speaks to them in a lower tone even than to any others, in 
order to repress their pride. Thus, the expression, “I determined to know nothing,” was 
spoken in contradistinction to the wisdom which is without. “For I came not weaving syllo- 
gisms nor sophisms, nor saying unto you anything else than “Christ was crucified.” They 
indeed have ten thousand things to say, and concerning ten thousand things they speak, 
winding out long courses of words, framing arguments and syllogisms, compounding 
sophisms without end. But I came unto you saying no other thing than “Christ was crucified,” 
and all of them I out-stripped: which is a sign such as no words can express of the power of 
Him whom I preach.” 

[2.] Ver. 3. “And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.” 

This again is another topic: for not only are the believers unlearned persons; not only 
is he that speaketh unlearned; not only is the manner of the teaching of an unlearned cast 
throughout; not only was the thing preached of itself enough to stagger people; (for the cross 
and death were the message brought;) but together with these there were also other 
hindrances, the dangers, and the plots, and the daily fear, and the being hunted about. For 
the word “weakness,” with him in many places stands for the persecutions: as also elsewhere. 
“My weakness which I had in my flesh ye did not set at nought:” (Gal. iv. 13, 14.) and again, 
“If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern my weakness.” (2 Cor. xi. 
30.) What [weakness]? “The governor under Aretas the king guarded the city of the Dam- 
ascenes, desirous to apprehend me.” (2 Cor. v. 32.) And again, “Wherefore I take pleasure 
in weakness:” (2 Cor. xii. 10.) then, saying in what, he added, “In injuries, in necessities, in 
distresses.” And here he makes the same statement; for having said, “And I was in weakness,” 
etc. he did not stop at this point, but explaining the word “weakness” makes mention of his 
dangers. He adds again, “and in fear, and in much trembling, I was with you.” 

“How sayest thou? Did Paul also fear dangers?” He did fear, and dreaded them excess- 
ively; for though he was Paul, yet he was a man. But this is no charge against Paul, but in- 
firmity of human nature; and it is to the praise of his fixed purpose of mind that when he 
even dreaded death and stripes, he did nothing wrong because of this fear. So that they who 

33 Here again what is written of St. Peter is taken as if written of St. Paul: see Acts xix. 12; v. 5. 


Homily VI 

assert that he feared not stripes, not only do not honor him, but rather abridge greatly his 
praises. For if he feared not, what endurance or what self-restraint was there in bearing the 
dangers? I, for my part, on this account admire him; because being in fear, and not simply 
in “fear,” but even in “trembling” at his perils, he so ran as ever to keep his crown; and gave 
not in for any danger, in his task of purging out 34 the world, and everywhere both by sea 
and land sowing the Gospel. 

[3.] Ver. 4. “And my speech and my preaching was not in persuasive words of wisdom:” 
that is, had not the wisdom from without. Now if the doctrine preached had nothing subtle, 
and they that were called were unlearned, and he that preached was of the same description, 
and thereto was added persecution, and trembling and fear; tell me, how did they overcome 
without Divine power? And this is why, having said, “My speech and my preaching was not 
in persuasive words of wisdom,” he added, “but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” 

Dost thou perceive how “the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness 
stronger?” They for their part, being unlearned and preaching such a Gospel, in their chains 
and persecution overcame their persecutors. Whereby? was it not by their furnishing that 
evidence which is of the Spirit? For this indeed is confessed demonstration. For who, tell 
me, after he had seen dead men rising to life and devils cast out, could have helped admitting 

But seeing that there are also deceiving wonders, such as those of sorcerers, he removes 
this suspicion also. For he said not simply “of power,” but first, “of the Spirit,” and then, “of 
power:” signifying that the things done were spiritual. 

It is no disparagement, therefore, that the Gospel was not declared by means of wisdom; 
rather it is a very great ornament. For this, it will be allowed, is the clearest token of its being 
divine and having its roots from above, out of the heavens. Wherefore he added also, 

Ver. 5. “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of 

Seest thou how clearly in every way he hath set forth the vast gain of this “ignorance,” 
and the great loss of this “wisdom?” For the latter made void the Cross, but the former 
proclaimed the power of God: the latter, besides their failing to discover any of those things 
which they most needed, set them also upon boasting of themselves; the former, besides 
their receiving the truth, led them also to pride themselves in God. Again, wisdom would 
have persuaded many to suspect that the doctrine was of man: this clearly demonstrated it 
to be divine, and to have come down from heaven. Now when demonstration is made by 
wisdom of words, even the worse oftentimes overcome the better, having more skill in 
words; and falsehood outstrips the truth. But in this case it is not so: for neither doth the 

34 £KKa0oupwv: there seems to be an allusion to the classical fable about Hercules, who is represented as 
“purging the world” of monsters and oppressors; Soph. Trach. 1078. ed. Musgrave. 


Homily VI 

Spirit enter into an unclean soul, nor, having entered in, can it ever be subdued; even though 
all possible cleverness of speech assail it. For the demonstration by works and signs is far 
more evident than that by words. 

[4.] But some one may say perhaps, “If the Gospel is to prevail and hath no need of 
words, lest the Cross be made of none effect; for what reason are signs withholden now?” 
For what reason? Speakest thou in unbelief and not allowing that they were done even in 
the times of the Apostles, or dost thou truly seek to know? If in unbelief, I will first make 
my stand against this. I say then, If signs were not done at that time, how did they, chased, 
and persecuted, and trembling, and in chains, and having become the common enemies of 
the world, and exposed to all as a mark for ill usage, and with nothing of their own to allure, 
neither speech, nor show, nor wealth, nor city, nor nation, nor family, nor pursuit 
(enirfiSeupa,) nor glory, nor any such like thing; but with all things contrary, ignorance, 
meanness, poverty, hatred, enmity, and setting themselves against whole commonwealths, 
and with such a message to declare; how, I say, did they work conviction? For both the 
precepts brought much labor, and the doctrines many dangers. And they that heard and 
were to obey, had been brought up in luxury and drunkenness, and in great wickedness. 
Tell me then, how did they convince? Whence had they their credibility? For, as I have just 
said, If without signs they wrought conviction, far greater does the wonder appear. Do not 
then urge the fact that signs are not done now, as a proof that they were not done then. For 
as then they were usefully wrought; so now are they no longer so wrought. 

Nor doth it necessarily follow from discourse being the only instrument of conviction, 
that now the “preaching” is in “wisdom.” For both they who from the beginning sowed the 
word were unprofessional (iStoorai) and unlearned, and spake nothing of themselves; but 
what things they received from God, these they distributed to the world: and we ourselves 
at this time introduce no inventions of our own; but the things which from them we have 
received, we speak unto all. And not even now persuade we by argumentation; but from the 
Divine Scriptures and from the miracles done at that time we produce the proof of what we 
say. On the other hand, even they at that time persuaded not by signs alone, but also by 
discoursing. And the signs and the testimonies out of the Old Scriptures, not the cleverness 
of the things said, made their words appear more powerful. 

[5.] How then, you will say, is it that signs were expedient then, and now inexpedient? 
Let us suppose a case, (for as yet I am contending against the Greek, and therefore I speak 
hypothetically of what must certainly come to pass,) let us, I say, suppose a case; and let the 
unbeliever consent to believe our affirmations, though it be only by way of concession: (xav 
Kara ouv§pop(|v) for instance, That Christ will come. When then Christ shall come and all 
the angels with Him, and be manifested as God, and all things made subject unto Him; will 
not even the Greek believe? It is quite plain that he will also fall down and worship, and 
confess Him God, though his stubbornness exceed all reckoning. For who, at sight of the 


Homily VI 

heavens opened and Him coming upon the clouds, and all the congregation of the powers 
above spread around Him, and rivers of fire coming on, and all standing by and trembling, 
will not fall down before Him, and believe Him God? Tell me, then; shall that adoration 
and knowledge be accounted unto the Greek for faith? No, on no account. And why not? 
Because this is not faith. For necessity hath done this, and the evidence of the things seen, 
and it is not of choice, but by the vastness of the spectacle the powers of the mind are dragged 
along. It follows that by how much the more evident and overpowering the course of events, 
by so much is the part of faith abridged. For this reason miracles are not done now. 

And that this is the truth, hear what He saith unto Thomas (St. John xx. 29.) “Blessed 
are they who have not seen, and yet have believed.” Therefore, in proportion to the evidence 
wherewith the miracle is set forth is the reward of faith lessened. So that if now also miracles 
were wrought, the same thing would ensue. For that then we shall no longer know Him by 
faith, Paul hath shewn, saying, “For now we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Cor. v. 7. vuv 
not in the received text.) As at that time, although thou believe, it shall not be imputed unto 
thee, because the thing is so palpable; so also now, supposing that such miracles were done 
as were formerly. For when we admit things which in no degree and in no way can be made 
out by reasoning, then it is faith. It is for this that hell is threatened, but is not shewn: for if 
it were shewn, the same would again ensue. 

[6.] Besides if signs be what thou seekest after, even now thou mayest see signs, although 
not of the same kind; the numberless predictions and on an endless variety of subject: the 
conversion of the world, the self-denying (cpiAoooqnav) course of the Barbarians, the change 
from savage customs, the greater intenseness of piety. “What predictions?” you will say. 
“For all the things just mentioned were written after the present state of things had begun.” 
When? Where? By whom? Tell me. How many years ago? Will you have fifty, or an hundred? 
They had not then, a hundred years ago, anything written at all. How then did the world 
retain the doctrines and all the rest, since memory would not be sufficient? How knew they 
that Peter was crucified? (aveaKoAotria0r|) How could it have entered the minds of men 
who came after the events had taken place to foretell, for instance, that the Gospel should 
be preached in every part of the whole world? that the Jewish institutions should cease, and 
never return again? And they who gave up their lives for the Gospel, how would they have 
endured to see the Gospel adulterated? And how would the writers have won credit, miracles 
having ceased? And how could the writings have penetrated to the region of Barbarians, 
and of Indians, and unto the very bounds of the ocean, if the relators had not been worthy 
of credit? The writers, too, who were they? When, how, and why, did they write at all? Was 
it to gain glory to themselves? Why then inscribed they the books with other men’s names? 
“Why, from a wish to recommend the doctrine.” As true, or as false? For if you say, they 
stuck to it, as being false; their joining it at all was out of all likelihood: but if as being truth, 
there was no need of inventions such as you speak of. And besides, the prophecies are of 


Homily VI 

such a kind, as that even until now time has been unable to force aside the predicted course 
of things: (coc; pq SuvdoGoci (3ia^ea0ai xpovw ta eipqpeva) for the destruction indeed of 
Jerusalem took place many years ago; but there are also other predictions which extend 
along from that time until His coming; which examine as you please: for instance, this, “I 
am with you alway, even unto the end of the world: (St. Matt, xxviii. 20.) and, “Upon this 
Rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it:” (St. Matt. xvi. 
18.) and, “This Gospel shall be preached unto all nations:” (St. Matt. xxiv. 14.) and that 


which the woman which was an harlot did: and many others more than these. Whence 

then the truth of this prediction if indeed it were a forgery? How did “the gates of hell” not 
“prevail” against “the Church?” How is Christ always “with us?” For had He not been “with 
us,” the Church would not have been victorious. How was the Gospel spread abroad in every 
part of the world? They also who have spoken against us are enough to testify the antiquity 

o /' or 

of the books; I mean, such as Celsus and he of Batanea , who came after him. For they, 
I suppose, were not speaking against books composed after their time. 

[7] And besides, there is the whole world which with one consent hath received the 
Gospel. Now there could not have been so great agreement from one end of the earth to the 
other, unless it had been the Grace of the Spirit; but the authors of the forgery would have 
been quickly found out. Neither could so great excellencies have originated from inventions 
and falsehoods. Dost thou not see the whole world coming in; error extinguished; the austere 
wisdom (cpiAooucp(av) of the old monks shining brighter than the sun; the choirs of the 
virgins; the piety among Barbarians; all men serving under one yoke? For neither by us 
alone were these things foretold, but also from the beginning, by the Prophets. For you will 
not, I trow, cavil at their predictions also: for the books are with their enemies, and through 
the zeal of certain Greeks they have been transferred into the Greek tongue. Many things 
then do these also foretell concerning these matters, shewing that it was God who should 
come among us. 

35 Vid. St. Matt. xxvi. 13. and comp. St. Luke vii. 37. which two texts St. Chrys. apparently considers as relating 
to the same person: but in his commentary on St. Matthew xxvi. 6. he distinctly says they were not the same. 
The Fathers are divided on this point. Tertullian (de Pudic. 11.) and, St. Augustin (de Consensu Evangelist ii. 
79.) consider them as the same, St. Augustin adding , that she was led to repeat the action with circumstances 
that shewed her increased perfection: Ambrosiaster (in loc.) leaves the matter doubtful. 

36 Celsus, the Epicurean philosopher, against whom Origen wrote about A.D. 170. 

37 Porphyry; so called also by St. Jerome, in the Preface to his Commentary on Galatians where the Editor’s 
conjecture is, that the name was that of Porphyry’s residence or birth, but that it was also a term of reproach, 
alluding to the fat bulls of Basan, Ps. xxii. 12. He is commonly called a Tyrian, but they suppose that Batanea, 
which is in Syria, was a colony of Tyre. 


Homily VI 

[8] Why then do not all believe now? Because things have degenerated: and for this we 
are to blame. (For from hence the discourse is addressed unto us also.) For surely not even 
then did they trust to signs alone, but by the mode of life also many of the converts were 
attracted. For, “Let your light so shine before men,” saith He, “that they may see your good 
works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (St. Matt. v. 16.) And, “They were all of 
one heart and one soul, neither said any man that aught of the things which he possessed 
was his own, but they had all things common; and distribution was made unto every man, 
according as he had need;” (Acts iv. 32, 35.) and they lived an angelic life. And if the same 
were done now, we should convert the whole world, even without miracles. But in the 
meanwhile, let those who will be saved attend to the Scriptures; for they shall find there 
both these noble doings, and those which are greater than these. For it may be added that 
the Teachers themselves surpassed the deeds of the others; living in hunger, in thirst, and 
nakedness. But we are desirous of enjoying great luxury, and rest, and ease; not so they: they 
cried aloud, “Even unto the present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and 
are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place. (1 Cor. iv. 11.) And some ran from Jerusalem 
unto Illyricum, (Rom. xv. 19.) and another unto the country of the Indians, and another 
unto that of the Moors, and this to one part of the world, that to another. Whereas we have 
not the courage to depart even out of our own country; but seek for luxurious living and 
splendid houses and all other superfluities. For which of us ever was famished for the word 
of God’s sake? Which ever abode in a wilderness? Which ever set out on a distant peregrin- 
ation? Which of our teachers lived by the labor of his hands to assist others? Which endured 
death daily? Hence it is that they also who are with us have become slothful. For suppose 
that one saw soldiers and generals struggling with hunger, and thirst, and death, and with 
all dreadful things, and bearing cold and dangers and all like lions, and so prospering; then 
afterwards, relaxing that strictness, and becoming enervated, and fond of wealth, and addicted 
to business and bargains, and then overcome by their enemies, it were extreme folly to seek 
for the cause of all this. Now let us reason thus in our own case and that of our ancestors; 
for we too have become weaker than all, and are nailed down unto this present life. 

And if one be found having a vestige of the ancient wisdom, leaving the cities and the 
market-places, and the society of the world, and the ordering of others, he betakes himself 
to the mountains: and if one ask the reason of that retirement, he invents a plea which cannot 
meet with allowance. For, saith he, “lest I perish too, and the edge of my goodness be taken 
off, I start aside.” Now how much better were it for thee to become less keen, and to gain 
others, than abiding on high to neglect thy perishing brethren? 

When, however, the one sort are careless about virtue, and those who do regard it 
withdraw themselves far from our ranks, how are we to subdue our enemies? For even if 
miracles were wrought now, who would be persuaded? Or who of those without would give 
heed unto us, our iniquity being thus prevalent? For so it is, that our upright living seems 


Homily VI 

unto the many the more trustworthy argument of the two: miracles admitting of a bad 
construction on the part of obstinate bad men: whereas a pure life will have abundant power 
to stop the mouth of the devil himself. 

[9.] These things I say, both to governors and governed; and, before all others, unto 
myself; to the end that the way of life shown forth in us may be truly admirable, that taking 
our appropriate stations, we may look down on all things present; may despise wealth, and 
not despise hell; overlook glory, and not overlook salvation; endure toil and labor here, lest 
we fall into punishment there. Thus let us wage war with the Greeks; thus let us take them 
captive with a captivity better than liberty. 

But while we say these things without intermission, over and over, they occur very sel- 
dom. Howbeit, be they done or not, it is right to remind you of them continually. For if 
some are engaged in deceiving by their fair speech, so much more is it the duty of those who 
allure back unto the truth, not to grow weary of speaking what is profitable. Again: if the 
deceivers make use of so many contrivances — spending as they do money, and applying 
arguments, and undergoing dangers, and making a parade of their patronage — much more 
should we, who are winning men from deceit, endure both dangers and deaths, and all 
things; that we may both gain ourselves and others, and become to our enemies irresistible, 
and so obtain the promised blessings, through the grace and loving-kindness, etc. 


Homily VII 

Homily VII. 

1 Cor. ii. 6, 7 

Howbeit we speak wisdom among the perfect, yet a wisdom not of this world, nor of the rulers 
of this world, which are coming to naught; but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, even 
the wisdom that hath been hidden, which God fore-ordained before the worlds unto our 

Darkness seems to be more suitable than light to those that are diseased in their eyesight: 
wherefore they betake themselves by preference to some room that is thoroughly shaded 
over. This also is the case with the wisdom which is spiritual. As the wisdom which is of 
God seemed to be foolishness unto those without: so their own wisdom, being foolishness 
indeed, was accounted by them wisdom. The result has been just as if a man having skill in 
navigation were to promise that without a ship or sails he would pass over a boundless tract 
of sea, and then endeavor by reasonings to prove that the thing is possible; but some other 
person, ignorant of it all, committing himself to a ship and a steersman and sailors, were 
thus to sail in safety. For the seeming ignorance of this man is wiser than the wisdom of the 
other. For excellent is the art of managing a ship; but when it makes too great professions 
it is a kind of folly. And so is every art which is not contented with its own proper limits. 

o o 

Just so the wisdom which is without [were wisdom indeed ] if it had had the benefit of the 
spirit. But since it trusted all to itself and supposed that it wanted none of that help, it became 
foolishness, although it seemed to be wisdom. Wherefore having first exposed it by the facts, 
then and not till then he calls it foolishness; and having first called the wisdom of God folly, 
according to their reckoning, then and not till then he shews it to be wisdom. (For after our 
proofs, not before, we are best able to abash the gainsayers.) 

His words then are, “Howbeit we speak wisdom among the perfect:” for when I, accoun- 
ted foolish and a preacher of follies, get the better of the wise, I overcome wisdom, not by 
foolishness but by a more perfect wisdom; a wisdom, too, so ample and so much greater, 
that the other appears foolishness. Wherefore having before called it by a name such as they 
named it at that time, and having both proved his victory from the facts, and shewn the ex- 
treme foolishness of the other side: he thenceforth bestows upon it its right name, saying, 
“Howbeit we speak wisdom among the perfect.” “Wisdom” is the name he gives to the 
Gospel, to the method of salvation, the being saved by the Cross. “The perfect,” are those 
who believe. For indeed they are “perfect,” who know all human things to be utterly helpless, 

38 There seems to be a word or two wanting in the text here, which has been supplied by conjecture in the 
translation. [But they are found in Codex C. Aretinus]. 


Homily VII 

and who overlook them from the conviction that by such they are profited nothing: such 
were the true believers. 

“But not a wisdom of this world.” For where is the use of the wisdom which is without, 
terminating here and proceeding no further, and not even here able to profit its possessors? 

Now by the “rulers of the world,” here, he means not certain demons, as some suspect' , 
but those in authority, those in power, those who esteem the thing worth contending about, 
philosophers, rhetoricians and writers of speeches (Aoyoypdcpouc;). For these were the 
dominant sort and often became leaders of the people. 

“Rulers of the world” he calls them, because beyond the present world their dominion 
extends not. Wherefore, he adds further, “which are coming to nought;” disparaging it both 
on its own account, and from those who wield it. For having shewn that it is false, that it is 
foolish, that it can discover nothing, that it is weak, he shews moreover that it is but of short 

[2.] “But we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery.” What mystery? For surely Christ saith, 
(St. Matt. x. 27. x\KOvaax£ rec. text dcKOuere.) “What ye have heard in the ear, proclaim upon 
the housetops.” How then does he call it “a mystery?” Because that neither angel nor 
archangel, nor any other created power knew of it before it actually took place. Wherefore 
he saith, (Ephes. iii. 10) “That now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places 
might be known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God.” And this hath God done in 
honor to us, so that they not without us should hear the mysteries. For we, too, ourselves, 
whomsoever we make our friends, use to speak of this as a sure proof of friendship towards 
them, that we tell our secrets to no one in preference to them. Let those hear who expose to 
shame 40 the secrets of the Gospel, and unto all indiscriminately display the “pearls” and the 
doctrine, and who cast “the holy things” unto “dogs,” and “swine,” and useless reasonings. 
For the Mystery wants no argumentation; but just what it is, that only is to be declared. 
Since it will not be a mystery, divine and whole in all its parts, when thou addest any thing 
to it of thyself also. 

And in another sense, too, a mystery is so called; because we do not behold the things 
which we see, but some things we see and others we believe. For such is the nature of our 
Mysteries. I, for instance, feel differently upon these subjects from an unbeliever. I hear, 
“Christ was crucified;” and forthwith I admire His loving-kindness unto men: the other 
hears, and esteems it weakness. I hear, “He became a servant;” and I wonder at his care for 
us: the other hears, and counts it dishonor. I hear, “He died;” and am astonished at His 

39 e.g. Origen, in Lament, iv. 11; in Ezek. Horn. xiii. §. 1; Com. in St. Matt. §. 125; St. Athanasius on Ps. cviii. 
(cix. Heb.) v. 15. t. i. 1194. Ed. Bened. The author of the Questions and Answers published with St. Justin Martyr’s 
works agrees with St. Chrysostom; see qu. cviii, clxx. Why may not both be right? 

40 eKTtopTieuovrec. vid. Cone. Ant. A.D. 270. ap. E. H. vii. 30. 


Homily VII 

might, that being in death He was not holden, but even broke the bands of death: the other 
hears, and surmises it to be helplessness. He hearing of the resurrection, saith, the thing is 
a legend; I, aware of the facts which demonstrate it, fall down and worship the dispensation 
of God. He hearing of a laver, counts it merely as water: but I behold not simply the thing 
which is seen, but the purification of the soul which is by the Spirit. He considers only that 
my body hath been washed; but I have believed that the soul also hath become both pure 
and holy; and I count it the sepulchre, the resurrection, the sanctification, the righteousness, 
the redemption, the adoption, the inheritance, the kingdom of heaven, the plenary effusion 
(xoptiytav) of the Spirit. For not by the sight do I judge of the things that appear, but by the 
eyes of the mind. I hear of the “Body of Christ:” in one sense I understand the expression, 
in another sense the unbeliever. 

And just as children, looking on their books, know not the meaning of the letters, neither 
know what they see; yea more, if even a grown man be unskilful in letters, the same thing 
will befall him; but the skilful will find much meaning stored up in the letters, even complete 
lives and histories: and an epistle in the hands of one that is unskilful will be accounted but 
paper and ink; but he that knows how to read will both hear a voice, and hold converse with 
the absent, and will reply whatsoever he chooses by means of writing: so it is also in regard 
of the Mystery. Unbelievers albeit they hear, seem not to hear: but the faithful, having the 
skill which is by the Spirit, behold the meaning of the things stored therein. For instance, it 
is this very thing that Paul signified, when he said that even now the word preached is hidden: 
for “unto them that perish,” he saith, “it is hidden.” (2 Cor. iv. 3.) 

In another point of view, the word indicates also the Gospel’s being contrary to all ex- 
pectation. By no other name is Scripture wont to call what happens beyond all hope and 
above all thought of men. Wherefore also in another place, “My mystery is for Me 41 ,” and 
for Mine. And Paul again, (1 Cor. xv. 51.) “Behold, I shew you a mystery: we shall not all 
sleep, but we shall all be changed.” 

[3.] And though it be everywhere preached, still is it a mystery; for as we have been 
commanded, “what things we have heard in the ear, to speak upon the house tops,” so have 
we been also charged, “not to give the holy things unto dogs nor yet to cast our pearls before 
swine.” (St. Matt. vii. 9.) For some are carnal and do not understand: others have a veil upon 
their hearts and do not see: wherefore that is above all things a mystery, which everywhere 
is preached, but is not known of those who have not a right mind; and is revealed not by 

41 This is the rendering, in some old Greek version, though not in the LXX, of the clause in Isaiah XXIV. 16, 
which in our authorized version runs, “My leanness, my leanness; woe unto me!” “Mystery” stands for the 
Chaldee “a secret:” which meaning the Targum of Jonathan gives to the word in this place: as do the Vulgate, 
and the Syriac according to Walton. The received reading of the LXX may be explained as a paraphrase of this 
rendering. The words, “and for mine,” seem added by St. Chrysostom. 


Homily VII 

wisdom but by the Holy Ghost, so far as is possible for us to receive it. And for this cause a 
man would not err, who in this respect also should entitle it a mystery, the utterance 
whereof is forbidden. (anoppr|rov) For not even unto us, the faithful, hath been committed 
entire certainty and exactness. Wherefore Paul also said, (ch. xiii. 9.) “We know in part, and 
we prophesy in part: for now we see in a mirror darkly; but then face to face.” 

[4.] For this cause he saith, “We speak wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which 
God fore-ordained before the worlds unto our glory. Hidden:” that is, that no one of the 
powers above hath learnt it before us; neither do the many know it now. 

“Which he fore-ordained unto our glory” and yet, elsewhere he saith, “unto his own 
glory,” for he considereth our salvation to be His own glory: even as also He calleth it His 
own riches, (vid. Ephes. iii. 8.) though He be Himself rich in good and need nothing in order 
that He may be rich. 

“Fore-ordained,” he saith, pointing out the care had of us. For so those are accounted 
most both to honor and to love us, whosoever shall have laid themselves out to do us good 
from the very beginning: which indeed is what fathers do in the case of children. For although 
they give not their goods until afterwards, yet at first and from the beginning they had pre- 
determined this. And this is what Paul is earnest to point out now; that God always loved 
us even from the beginning and when as yet we were not. For unless He had loved us, He 
would not have fore-ordained our riches. Consider not then the enmity which hath come 
between; for more ancient than that was the friendship. 

As to the words, “before the worlds,” (npo rtuv cuojvojv) they mean eternal. For in an- 
other place also He saith thus, “Who is before the worlds.” The Son also, if you mark it, will 
be found to be eternal in the same sense. For concerning Him he saith, (Heb. i. 2.) “By Him 
He made the worlds;” which is equivalent to subsistence before the worlds; for it is plain 
that the maker is before the things which are made. 

[5.] Ver. 8. “Which none of the rulers of this world knew; for had they known, they 
would not have crucified the Lord of Glory.” 

Now if they knew not, how said He unto them, (St. John vii. 28.) “Ye both know Me, 
and ye know whence I am?” Indeed, concerning Pilate the Scripture saith, he knew not. (vid. 
St. John xix. 9.) It is likely also that neither did Herod know. These, one might say, are called 
rulers of this world: but if a man were to say that this is spoken concerning the Jews also 
and the Priests, he would not err. For to these also He saith, (St. John viii. 19.) “Ye know 
neither Me nor My Father.” How then saith He a little before, “Ye both know Me, and ye 
know whence I am?” However, the manner of this way of knowledge and of that hath already 
been declared in the Gospel; (Horn. 49. on St. John,) and, not to be continually handling 
the same topic, thither do we refer our readers. 

What then? was their sin in the matter of the Cross forgiven them? For He surely did 
say, “Forgive them.” (Luke xxiii. 34.) If they repented, it was forgiven. For even he who set 


Homily VII 

countless assailants on Stephen and persecuted the Church, even Paul, became the champion 
of the Church. Just so then, those others also who chose to repent, had forgiveness: and this 
indeed Paul himself meant, when he exclaims, (Rom. xi. 11, 1, 2.). “I say then, have they 
stumbled that they should fall? God forbid.” “I say then, hath God cast away His people 
whom He foreknew? God forbid.” Then, to shew that their repentance was not precluded, 
he brought forward as a decisive proof his own conversion, saying, “For I also am an Israelite.” 

As to the words, “They knew not;” they seem to me to be said here not concerning 
Christ’s Person, but only concerning the dispensation hidden in that event: (rcspi aurfjc; rou 
npayparoc; rrjc; oiKOVopiaq) as if he had said, what meant “the death,” and the “Cross,” they 
knew not. For in that passage also He said not, “They know not Me,” but, “They know not 
what they do;” that is, the dispensation which is being accomplished, and the mystery, they 
are ignorant of. For they knew not that the Cross is to shine forth so brightly; that it is made 
the salvation of the world, and the reconciliation of God unto men; that their city should 
be taken; and that they should suffer the extreme of wretchedness. 

By the name of “wisdom,” he calls both Christ, and the Cross and the Gospel. Oppor- 
tunely also he called Him, “The Lord of glory.” For seeing that the Cross is counted a matter 
of ignominy, he signifies that the Cross was great glory: but that there was need of great 
wisdom in order not only to know God but also to learn this dispensation of God: and the 
wisdom which was without turned out an obstacle, not to the former only, but to the latter 

[6.] Ver. 9. “But as it is written, Things which eye saw not and ear heard not, and which 
entered not into the heart of man, whatsoever things God prepared for them that love Him.” 

Where are these words written? Why, it is said to have been “written,” then also, when 
it is set down, not in words, but in actual events, as in the historical books 42 ; or when the 
same meaning is expressed, but not in the very same words, as in this place: for the words, 
“They to whom it was not told about Him shall see, and they who have not heard shall un- 
derstand,” (Is. lii. 15; Sept. Comp. Rom. xv. 21; Is. lxiv. 4.) are the same with “the things 
which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard.” Either then this is his meaning, or probably it was 
actually written in some books, and the copies have perished. For indeed many books were 
destroyed, and few were preserved entire even in the first captivity. And this is plain, in 
those which remain to us. 43 For the Apostle saith (Acts iii. 24.) “From Samuel and the 
Prophets which follow after they have all spoken concerning Him:” and these their words 
are not entirely extant. Paul, however, as being learned in the law and speaking by the 

42 Of which, perhaps, He shall be called a Nazarene, St. Matt. ii. 23. is an instance: although that indeed is 
not said to be “written,” but spoken by the Prophets. 

43 [Dr. Field prints the original with a capital letter, making it=Paraleipomena, the LXX. name for the books 
of Chronicles, and refers to II Chron. ix. 29, xii. 5, xiii. 22. C.] 


Homily VII 

Spirit, would of course know all with accuracy. And why speak I of the captivity? Even before 
the captivity many books had disappeared; the Jews having rushed headlong to the last degree 
of impiety: and this is plain from the end of the fourth book of Kings, (2 Kings xxii. 8; 2 
Chron. xxxiv. 14.) for the book of Deuteronomy could hardly be found, having been buried 
somewhere in a dunghill 44 . 

And besides, there are in many places double prophecies, easy to be apprehended by 
the wiser sort; from which we may find out many of the things which are obscure. 

[7.] What then, hath “eye not seen what God prepared?” No. For who among men saw 
the things which were about to be dispensed? Neither then hath “the ear heard, nor hath it 
entered into the heart of man.” How is this? For if the Prophets spoke of it, how saith he, 
“Ear hath not heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man?” It did not enter; for not 
of himself alone is he speaking, but of the whole human race. What then? The Prophets, 
did not they hear? Yes, they heard; but the prophetic ear was not the ear “of man:” for not 
as men heard they, but as Prophets. Wherefore he said, (Is. 1. 4. Sept.) “He hath added unto 
me an ear to hear,” meaning by “addition” that which was from the Spirit. From whence it 
was plain that before hearing it had not entered into the heart of man. For after the gift of 
the Spirit the heart of the Prophets was not the heart of man, but a spiritual heart; as also 
he saith himself, “We have the mind of Christ” (v. 16.) as if he would say, “Before we had 
the blessing of the Spirit and learnt the things which no man can speak, no one of us nor 
yet of the Prophets conceived them in his mind. How should we? since not even angels 
know them. For what need is there to speak,” saith he, “concerning ‘the rulers of this world,’ 
seeing that no man knew them, nor yet the powers above?” 

What kind of things then are these? That by what is esteemed to be the foolishness of 
preaching He shall overcome the world, and the nations shall be brought in, and there shall 
be reconciliation of God with men, and so great blessings shall come upon us! How then 
have we “known? Unto us,” he saith, “God hath revealed them by His Spirit;” not by the 
wisdom which is without; for this like some dishonored handmaid hath not been permitted 
to enter in, and stoop down and look into (see St. John xx. 5.) the mysteries pertaining to 
the Ford. Seest thou how great is the difference between this wisdom and that? The things 
which angels knew not, these are what she hath taught us: but she that is without, hath done 
the contrary. Not only hath she failed to instruct, but she hindered and obstructed, and after 
the event sought to obscure His doings, making the Cross of none effect. Not then simply 
by our receiving the knowledge, does he describe the honor vouchsafed to us, nor by our 
receiving it with angels, but, what is more, by His Spirit conveying it to us. 

44 Two circumstances in this account appear to be traditional: that the book found was that of Deuteronomy; 
and that the place where it was found was a dunghill. 


Homily VII 

[7.] Then to show its greatness, he saith, If the Spirit which knoweth the secret things 
of God had not revealed them, we should not have learned them. Such an object of care was 
this whole subject to God, as to be among His secrets. Wherefore we needed also that 
Teacher who knoweth these things perfectly; for “the Spirit,” (v. 10, 11, 12.) saith he, “sear- 
cheth all things, even the deep things of God.” For the word “to search” is here indicative 
not of ignorance, but of accurate knowledge: it is the very same mode of speaking which he 
used even of God, saying, “He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the 
Spirit.” (Rom. viii. 27.) Then having spoken with exactness concerning the knowledge of 
the Spirit, and having pointed out that it is as fully equal to God’s knowledge, as the know- 
ledge of a man itself to itself; and also, that we have learned all things from it and necessarily 
from it; he added, “which things also we speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teacheth, 
but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” Seest thou 
to what point he exalted us because of the Teacher’s dignity? For so much are we wiser than 
they as there is difference between Plato and the Holy Spirit; they having for masters the 
heathen rhetoricians but we, the Holy Spirit. 

[8.] But what is this, “comparing spiritual things with spiritual?” When a thing is spir- 
itual and of dubious meaning, we adduce testimonies from the things which are spiritual. 
For instance, I say, Christ rose again — was born of a Virgin; I adduce testimonies and types 
and demonstrations; the abode of Jonah in the whale and his deliverance afterwards; the 
child-bearing of the barren, Sarah, Rebecca, and the rest; the springing up of the trees which 
took place in paradise (Gen. ii. 5.) when there had been no seeds sown, no rains sent down, 
no furrow drawn along. For the things to come were fashioned out and figured forth, as in 
shadow, by the former things, that these which are now might be believed when they came 
in. And again we shew, how of the earth was man, and how of man alone the woman; and 
this without any intercourse whatever; how the earth itself of nothing, the power of the 
Great Artificer being every where sufficient for all things. Thus “with spiritual things” do I 
“compare spiritual,” and in no instance have I need of the Wisdom which is without — neither 
its reasonings nor its embellishments. For such persons do but agitate the weak understanding 
and confuse it; and are not able to demonstrate clearly any one of the things which they af- 
firm, but even have the contrary effect. They rather disturb the mind and fill it with darkness 
and much perplexity. Wherefore he saith, “with spiritual things comparing spiritual.” 45 
Seest thou how superfluous he sheweth it to be? and not only superfluous, but even hostile 
and injurious: for this is meant by the expressions, “lest the Cross of Christ be made of none 
effect,” and, “that our (‘your faith,’ rec. text) faith should not stand in the wisdom of men.” 

45 [Principal Edwards explains the phrase adopting the A.V., as “combining revealed truths so as to form a 
consistent and well-proportioned system” Com. in lo.] 


Homily VII 

And he points out here, that it is impossible for those who confidently entrust every thing 
to it, to learn any useful thing: for 

[9.] Ver. 14. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit.” 

It is necessary then to lay it aside first. “What then,” some man will say; “is the wisdom 
from without stigmatized? And yet it is the work of God.” How is this clear? since He made 
it not, but it was an invention of thine. For in this place he calls by the term “wisdom” 
curious research and superfluous elegance of words. But should any one say that he means 
the human understanding; even in this sense the fault is thine. For thou bringest a bad name 
upon it, who makest a bad use of it; who to the injury and thwarting of God demandest 
from it things which indeed it never had. Since then thou boastest therein and fightest with 
God, He hath exposed its weakness. For strength of body also is an excellent thing, but when 
Cain used it not as he ought, God disabled him and made him tremble (Gen. iv. 12, 14. Sept, 
“sighing and trembling,” rec. ver. “fugitive and vagabond.”) Wine also is a good thing; but 
because the Jews indulged in it immoderately, God prohibited the priests entirely from the 
use of the fruit. 46 And since thou also hast abused wisdom unto the rejecting of God, and 
hast demanded of it more than it can do of its own strength; in order to withdraw thee from 
human hope, he hath shewed thee its weakness. 

For (to proceed) he is “a natural man,” who attributes every thing to reasonings of the 
mind and considers not that he needs help from above; which is a mark of sheer folly. For 
God bestowed it that it might learn and receive help from Him, not that it should consider 
itself sufficient unto itself. For eyes are beautiful and useful, but should they choose to see 
without light, their beauty profits them nothing; nor yet their natural force, but even doth 
harm. So if you mark it, any soul also, if it choose to see without the Spirit, becomes even 
an impediment unto itself. 

“How then, before this,” it will be said, “did she see all things of herself?” Never at any 
time did she this of herself but she had creation for a book set before her in open view. But 
when men having left off to walk in the way which God commanded them, and by the beauty 
of visible objects to know the Great Artificer, had entrusted to disputations the leading-staff 
of knowledge; they became weak and sank in a sea of ungodliness; for they presently brought 
in that which was the abyss of all evil, asserting that nothing was produced from things 
which were not, but from uncreated matter; and from this source they became the parents 
of ten thousand heresies. 

Moreover, in their extreme absurdities they agreed; but in those things wherein they 
seemed to dream out something wholesome, though it were only as in shadows, they fell 
out with one another; that on both sides they might be laughed to scorn. For that out of 
things which are not nothing is produced, nearly all with one accord have asserted and 

46 i.e. when they were in course of attendance on the tabernacle. Levit. x. 8, 9. 


Homily VII 

written; and this with great zeal. In these absurdities then they were urged on by the Devil. 
But in their profitable sayings, wherein they seemed, though it were but darkly, (ev aiviypan,) 
to find some part of what they sought, in these they waged war with one another: for instance, 
that the soul is immortal; that virtue needs nothing external; and that the being good or the 
contrary is not of necessity nor of fate. 

Dost thou see the craft of the Devil? If anywhere he saw men speaking any thing corrupt, 
he made all to be of one mind; but if any where speaking any thing sound, he raised up 
others against them; so that the absurdities did not fail, being confirmed by the general 
consent, and the profitable parts died away, being variously understood. Observe how in 
every respect the soul is unstrung, (arovoq) and is not sufficient unto herself. And this fell 
out as one might expect. For if, being such as she is, she aspire to have need of nothing and 
withdraw herself from God; suppose her not fallen into that condition, and into what extreme 
madness would she not have insensibly sunk? If, endowed with a mortal body, she expected 
greater things from the false promise of the Devil — (for, “Ye shall be,” said he, “as gods” 
Gen. iii. 4.) — to what extent would she not have cast herself away, had she received her body 
also, from the beginning, immortal. For, even after that, she asserted herself to be unbegotten 
and of the essence of God, through the corrupt mouth of the Manicheans 47 , and it was this 
distemperature which gave occasion to her invention of the Grecian gods. On this account, 
as it seems to me, God made virtue laborious, with a view to bow down the soul and to bring 
it to moderation. And that thou mayest convince thyself that this is true, (as far as from 
trifles ones may guess at any thing great,) let us learn it from the Israelites. They, it is well 
known, when they led not a life of toil but indulged in relaxation, not being able to bear 
prosperity, fell away into ungodliness. What then did God upon this? He laid upon them a 
multitude of laws with a view to restrain their licence. And to convince you that these laws 
contribute not to any virtue, but were given to them as a sort of curb, providing them with 
an occasion of perpetual labor; hear what saith the prophet concerning them; “I gave them 
statutes which were not good.” Ezek. xx. 25. What means, “not good?” Such as did not much 
contribute towards virtue. Wherefore he adds also, “and ordinances whereby they shall not 

[10.] “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit.” 

For as with these eyes no man could learn the things in the heavens; so neither the soul 
unaided the things of the Spirit. And why speak I of the things in heaven? It receives not 
even those in earth, all of them. For beholding afar off a square tower, we think it to be 

47 ‘Manes opposed to each other two diverse and adverse principles, alike eternal and coeternal: and fancied 
two natures and substances, Good and Bad; in this following elder heretics;” (some of the Gnostics, see S. Aug. 
above §6, 14, 16, 21, 22). ...“Hence they are compelled to affirm that good souls are of the same nature with 
God.” S. Aug. de Hceresibus , §. 46. 


Homily VII 

round; but such an opinion is mere deception of the eyes: so also we may be sure, when a 
man by means of his understanding alone examines the things which are afar off much ri- 
dicule will ensue. For not only will he not see them such as indeed they are, but will even 
account them the contraries of what they are. Wherefore he added, “for they are foolishness 
unto him.” But this comes not of the nature of the things, but of his infirmity, unable as he 
is to attain to their greatness through the eyes of his soul. 

[11.] Next, pursuing his contrast, he states the cause of this, saying, “he knoweth not 
because they are spiritually discerned:” i.e. the things asserted require faith, and to apprehend 
them by reasonings is not possible, for their magnitude exceeds by a great deal the meanness 
of our understanding. Wherefore he saith, “but he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he 
himself is judged of no man.” For he that has sight, beholds himself all things that appertain 
to the man that has no sight; but no sightless person discerns what the other is about. So 
also in the case before us, our own matters and those of unbelievers, all of them we for our 
part know; but ours, they know not henceforth any more. We know what is the nature of 
things present, what the dignity of things to come; and what some day shall become of the 
world when this state of things shall be no more, and what sinners shall suffer, and the 
righteous shall enjoy. And that things present are nothing worth, we both know, and their 
meanness we expose; (for to “discern” is also to expose;) (avaKptveiv, sAsyxsiv) and that 
the things to come are immortal and immoveable. All these things are known to the spiritual 
man; and what the natural man shall suffer when he is departed into that world; and what 
the faithful shall enjoy when he hath fulfilled his journey from this: none of which are known 
to the natural man. 

[12.] Wherefore also, subjoining a plain demonstration of what had been affirmed, he 
saith, “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have 
the mind of Christ.” That is to say, the things which are in the mind of Christ, these we 
know, even the very things which He willeth and hath revealed. For since he had said, “the 
Spirit had revealed them;” lest any one should set aside the Son, he subjoins that Christ also 
shewed us these things. Not meaning this, that all the things which He knoweth, we know; 
but that all the things which we know are not human so as to be open to suspicion, but of 
His mind and spiritual. 

For the mind which we have about these things we have of Christ; that is, the knowledge 
which we have concerning the things of the faith is spiritual; so that with reason we are 
“judged of no man.” For it is not possible that a natural man should know divine things. 
Wherefore also he said, “For who hath known the mind of the Lord?” implying that our 
own mind which we have about these things, is His mind. And this, “that he may instruct 
Him,” he hath not added without reason, but with reference to what he had just now said, 
“the spiritual man no one discerneth.” For if no man is able to know the mind of God, much 
less can he teach and correct it. For this is the meaning of, “that he may instruct Him.” 


Homily VII 

Seest thou how from every quarter he repels the wisdom which is without, and shews 
that the spiritual man knoweth more things and greater? For seeing that those reasons, 
“That no flesh should glory;” and, “For this cause hath He chosen the foolish things, that 
He might confound the wise men;” and, “Lest the Cross of Christ should be made void:” 
seemed not to the unbelievers greatly worthy of credit, nor yet attractive, or necessary, or 
useful, he finishes by laying down the principal reason; because in this way we most easily 
see from Whom we may have the means of learning even high things, and things secret, 
and things which are above us. For reason was absolutely made of none effect by our inab- 
ility to apprehend through Gentile wisdom the things above us. 

You may observe, too, that it was more advantageous to learn in this way from the 
Spirit. For that is the easiest and clearest of all teaching. 

“But we have the mind of Christ.” That is, spiritual, divine, that which hath nothing 
human. For it is not of Plato, nor of Pythagoras, but it is Christ Himself, putting His own 
things into our mind. 

This then, if naught else, let us revere, O beloved, and let our life shine forth as most 
excellent; since He also Himself maketh this a sure proof of great friendship, viz. the revealing 
His secrets unto us: where He saith, (St. John xv. 15.) “Henceforth I call you not servants, 
for all ye are My friends; for all things which I have heard from My Father I have told unto 
you:” that is, I have had confidence towards you. Now if this by itself is a proof of friendship, 
namely, to have confidence: when it appears that He has not only confided to us the mysteries 
conveyed by words, (rd 5ia pqparoov puorqpia) but also imparted to us the same conveyed 
by works, (5ia tojv epycov, i.e. sacramental actions) consider how vast the love of which this 
is the fruit. This, if nothing else, let us revere; even though we will not make any such great 
account of hell, yet let it be more fearful than hell to be thankless and ungrateful to such a 
friend and benefactor. And not as hired servants, but as sons and freemen, let us do all things 
for the love of our Father; and let us at last cease from adhering to the world that we may 
put the Greeks also to shame. For even now desiring to put out my strength against them, 
I shrink from so doing, lest haply, surpass them as we may by our arguments and the truth 
of what we teach, we bring upon ourselves much derision from the comparison of our way 
of life; seeing that they indeed, cleaving unto error and having no such conviction, abide by 
philosophy, but we do just the contrary. However, I will say it. For it may be, it may be that 
in practising how to contend against them, we shall long as rivals to become better than 
they in our mode of life also. 

[14.] I was saying not long ago, that it would not have entered the Apostles’ thoughts 
to preach what they did preach, had they not enjoyed Divine Grace; and that so far from 
succeeding, they would not even have devised such a thing. Well then, let us also to-day 
prosecute the same subject in our discourse; and let us shew that it was a thing impossible 
so much as to be chosen or thought of by them, if they had not had Christ among them: not 


Homily VII 

because they were arrayed, the weak against the strong, not because few against many, not 
because poor against rich, not because unlearned against wise, but because the strength of 
their prejudice, too, was great. For ye know that nothing is so strong with men as the tyranny 
of ancient custom. So that although they had not been twelve only, and not so contemptible, 
and such as they really were, but another world as large as this, and with an equivalent 
number arrayed on their side, or even much greater; even in this case the result would have 
been hard to achieve. For the other party had custom on their side, but to these their novelty 
was an obstacle. For nothing so much disturbs the mind, though it be done for some bene- 
ficial purpose, as to innovate and introduce strange things, and most of all when this is done 
in matters relating to divine worship and the glory of God. And how great force there is in 
this circumstance I will now make plain; first having made the following statement that 
there was added also another difficulty with regard to the Jews. For in the case of the Greeks, 
they destroyed both their gods and their doctrines altogether; but not so did they dispute 
with the Jews, but many of their doctrines they abolished, while the God who had enacted 
the same they bade them worship. And affirming that men should honor the legislator, they 
said, “obey not in all respects the law which is of Him;” for instance, in the keeping the 
Sabbath, or observing circumcision, or offering sacrifices, or doing any other like thing. So 
that not only was custom an impediment, but also the fact, that when they bade men worship 
God, they bade them break many of His laws. 

[15.] But in the case of the Greeks great was the tyranny of custom. For if it had been a 
custom of ten years only, I say not of such a length of time, and if it had preoccupied but a 
few men, I say not the whole world, when these persons made their approaches; even in this 
case the revolution would have been hard to effect. But now sophists, and orators, and 
fathers, and grandfathers, and many more ancient than all these, had been preoccupied by 
the error: the very earth and sea, and mountains and groves, and all nations of Barbarians, 
and all tribes of the Greeks, and wise men and ignorant, rulers and subjects, women and 
men, young and old, masters and slaves, artificers and husbandmen, dwellers in cities and 
in the country; all of them. And those who were instructed would naturally say, “What in 
the world is this? Have all that dwell in the world been deceived? both sophists and orators, 
philosophers and historians, the present generation and they who were before this, Py- 
thagoreans, Platonists, generals, consuls, kings, they who in all cities from the beginning 
were citizens and colonists, both Barbarians and Greeks? And are the twelve fishermen and 
tent-makers and publicans wiser than all these? Why, who could endure such a statement?” 
However, they spake not so, nor had it in their mind, but did endure them, and owned that 
they were wiser than all. Wherefore they overcame even all. And custom was no impediment 
to this, though accounted invincible when she hath acquired her full swing by course of 


Homily VII 

And that thou mayest learn how great is the strength of custom, it hath oftentimes 
prevailed over the commands of God. And why do I say, commands? Even over very bless- 
ings. For so the Jews when they had manna, required garlic; enjoying liberty they were 
mindful of their slavery; and they were continually longing for Egypt, because they were 
accustomed to it. Such a tyrannical thing is custom. 

If thou desire to hear of it from the heathens also; it is said that Plato, although well 
aware that all about the gods was a sort of imposture, condescended to all the feasts and all 
the rest of it, as being unable to contend with custom; and as having in fact learnt this from 
his master. For he, too, being suspected of some such innovation, was so far from succeeding 
in what he desired that he even lost his life; and this, too, after making his defence. And how 
many men do we see now by prejudice held in idolatry, and having nothing plausible to say, 
when they are charged with being Greeks, but alleging the fathers, and grandfathers, and 
great grandfathers. For no other reason did some of the heathens call custom, second nature. 
But when doctrines are the subject-matter of the custom, it becomes yet more deeply rooted. 
For a man would change all things more easily than those pertaining to religion. The feeling 
of shame, too, coupled with custom, was enough to raise an obstacle; and the seeming to 
learn a new lesson in extreme old age, and that of those who were not so intelligent. And 
why wonder, should this happen in regard of the soul, seeing that even in the body custom 
hath great force? 

[16.] In the Apostles’ case, however, there was yet another obstacle, more powerful than 
these; it was not merely changing custom so ancient and primitive, but there were perils 
also under which the change was effected. For they were not simply drawing men from one 
custom to another, but from a custom, wherein was no fear to an undertaking which held 
out threats of danger. For the believer must immediately incur confiscation, persecution, 
exile from his country; must suffer the worst ills, be hated of all men, be a common enemy 
both to his own people and to strangers. So that even if they had invited men to a customary 
thing out of novelty, even in this case it would have been a difficult matter. But when it was 
from a custom to an innovation, and with all these terrors to boot, consider how vast was 
the obstacle! 

And again, another thing, not less than those mentioned, was added to make the change 
difficult. For besides the custom and the dangers, these precepts were both more burden- 
some, and those from which they withdrew men were easy and light. For their call was from 
fornication unto chastity; from love of life unto sundry kinds of death; from drunkenness 
unto fasting; from laughter unto tears and compunction; from covetousness unto utter in- 
digence; from safety unto dangers: and throughout all they required the strictest circumspec- 
tion. For, “Filthiness,” (Ephes. v. 4.) saith he, “and foolish talking, and jesting, let it not 
proceed out of your mouth.” And these things they spake unto those who knew nothing 
else than how to be drunken and serve their bellies; who celebrated feasts made up of 


Homily VII 

nothing but of “filthiness” and laughter and all manner of revellings (KOjpojSiac; andar|c;.) 
So that not only from the matter pertaining to severity of life were the doctrines burthensome, 
but also from their being spoken unto men who had been brought up in careless ease, and 
“filthiness,” and “foolish talking,” and laughter and revellings. For who among those who 
had lived in these things, when he heard, (Matt. x. 38.) “If a man take not up his cross and 
follow Me, he is not worthy of Me;” and, (Ibid. 34) “I came not to send peace but a sword, 
and to set a man at variance with his father, and the daughter at variance with her mother,” 
would not have felt himself chilled all over (svdpxrias)? And who, when he heard, “If a man 
bid not farewell to home and country and possessions, he is not worthy of Me,” would not 
have hesitated, would not have refused? And yet there were men, who not only felt no chill, 
neither shrunk away when they heard these things, but ran to meet them and rushed upon 
the hardships, and eagerly caught at the precepts enjoined. Again, to be told, “For every idle 
word we shall give account;” (Matt. xii. 36.) and, “whosoever looketh upon a woman to lust 
after her, hath committed adultery with her as soon as seen;” (Matt. v. 28, 25.) and, “whoso- 
ever is angry without cause shall fall into hell;” — which of the men of that day would not 
these things have frightened off? And yet all came running in, and many even leaped over 
the boundaries of the course. What then was their attraction? Was it not, plainly, the power 


of Him who was preached? For suppose that the case were not as it is, but just contrary , 
that this side was the other, and the other this; would it have been easy, let me ask, to hold 
fast and to drag on those who resisted? We cannot say so. So that in every way that power 
is proved divine which wrought so excellently. Else how, tell me, did they prevail with the 
frivolous and the dissolute, urging them toward the severe and rough course of life? 

[17.] Well; such was the nature of the precepts. But let us see whether the doctrine was 
attractive. Nay, in this respect also there was enough to frighten away the unbelievers. For 
what said the preachers? That we must worship the crucified, and count Him as God, who 
was born of a Jewish woman. Now who would have been persuaded by these words, unless 
divine power had led the way? That indeed He had been crucified and buried, all men knew; 
but that He had risen again and ascended, no one save the Apostles had seen. 

But, you will say, they excited them by promises and deceived them by an empty sound 
of words. Nay, this very topic most particularly shews (even apart from all that has been 
said) that our doctrines are no deceit. For all its hardships took place here, but its consolations 
they were to promise after the resurrection. This very thing then, for I repeat it, shews that 
our Gospel is divine. For why did no one of the believers say, “I close not with this, neither 
do I endure it? Thou threatenest me with hardships here, and the good things thou promisest 
after the resurrection. Why, how is it plain that there will be a resurrection? Which of the 

48 i.e. suppose miracles and the attempt to convert had been the other way, from strictness to ease and 


Homily VII 

departed hath returned? Which of those at rest hath risen again? Which of these hath said 
what shall be after our departure hence?” But none of these things entered into their minds; 
rather they gave up their very lives for the Crucified. So that this bare fact was more than 
anything a proof of great power; first, their working conviction at once, touching matters 
so important, in persons that had never in their lives before heard of any such thing; secondly, 
that they prevailed on them to take the difficulties upon trial, and to account the blessings 
as matter of hope. Now if they had been deceivers they would have done the contrary: their 
good things they would have promised as of this world (svreuGev, so St. John xviii. 36.); the 
fearful things they would not have mentioned, whether they related to the present life or 
the future. For so deceivers and flatterers act. Nothing harsh, nor galling, nor burdensome, 
do they hold out, but altogether the contrary. For this is the nature of deceit. 

[18.] But “the folly,” it will be said, “of the greater part caused them to believe what they 
were told.” How sayest thou? When they were under Greeks, they were not foolish; but 
when they came over to us, did their folly then begin? And yet they were not men of another 
sort nor out of another world, that the Apostles took and persuaded: they were men too 
who simply held the opinions of the Greeks, but ours they received with the accompaniment 
of dangers. So that if with better reason they had maintained the former, they would not 
have swerved from them, now that they had so long time been educated therein; and espe- 
cially as not without danger was it possible to swerve. But when they came to know from 
the very nature of the things that all on that side was mockery and delusion, upon this, even 
under menaces of sundry deaths, they sprang off (aireirqSqaav) from their customary ways, 
and came over voluntarily unto the new; inasmuch as the latter doctrine was according to 
nature, but the other contrary to nature. 

But “the persons convinced,” it is said, “were slaves, and woman, and nurses, and mid- 
wives, and eunuchs.” Now in the first place, not of these alone doth our Church consist; 
and this is plain unto all. But be it of these; this is what especially makes the Gospel worthy 
of admiration; that such doctrines as Plato and his followers could not apprehend, the fish- 
ermen had power on a sudden to persuade the most ignorant sort of all to receive. For if 
they had persuaded wise men only, the result would not have been so wonderful; but in 
advancing slaves, and nurses, and eunuchs unto such great severity of life as to make them 
rivals to angels, they offered the greatest proof of their divine inspiration. Again; had they 
enjoined I know not what trifling matters, it were reasonable perhaps to bring forward the 
conviction wrought in these persons, to show the trifling nature of the things which were 
spoken: but if things great, and high, and almost transcending human nature, and requiring 
high thoughts, were the matter of their lessons of wisdom; the more foolishness thou 
showest in those who were convinced, by so much the more dost thou shew clearly that they 
who wrought the conviction were wise and filled with divine grace. 


Homily VII 

But, you will say, they prevailed on them through the excessive greatness of the promises. 
But tell me, is not this very thing a wonder to thee, how they persuaded men to expect prizes 
and recompenses after death? For this, were there nothing else, is to me matter of amazement. 
But this, too, it will be said, came of folly. Inform me wherein is the folly of these things: 
that the soul is immortal; that an impartial tribunal will receive us after the present life; that 
we shall render an account of our deeds and words and thoughts unto God that knoweth 
all secrets; that we shall see the evil undergoing punishment, and the good with crowns on 
their heads. Nay, these things are not of folly, but the highest instruction of wisdom. The 
folly is in the contrary opinions to these. 

[19.] Were this then the only thing, the despising of things present, the setting much 
by virtue, the not seeking rewards here, but advancing far beyond in hopes, and the keeping 
the soul so intent and faithful as by no present terror to be hindered in respect of the hope 
of what shall be; tell me, to what high philosophy must this belong? But would you also 
learn the force of the promises and predictions in themselves, and the truth of those uttered 
both before and after this present state of things? Behold, I shew you a golden chain, woven 
cunningly from the beginning! He spake some things to them about Himself, and about 
the churches, and about the things to come; and as He spake, He wrought mighty works. 
By the fulfilment therefore of what He said, it is plain that both the wonders wrought were 
real, and the future and promised things also. 

But that my meaning may be yet plainer, let me illustrate it from the actual case. He 
raised up Lazarus by a single word merely, and shewed him alive. Again, He said, “The gates 
of Hades shall not prevail against the Church (St. Matt. xvi. 18.) and, “He that forsaketh 
father or mother, shall receive an hundred-fold in this life, and shall inherit everlasting life.” 
(ib. 19. 29.) The miracle then is one, the raising of Lazarus; but the predictions are two; 
made evident, the one here, the other in the world to come. Consider now, how they are all 
proved by one another. For if a man disbelieve the resurrection of Lazarus, from the 
prophecy uttered about the Church let him learn to believe the miracle. For the word spoken 
so many years before, came to pass then, and received accomplishment: for “the gates of 
Hades prevailed not against the Church.” You see that He who spake truth in the prophecy, 
it is clear that he also wrought the miracle: and He who both wrought the miracle and brings 
to accomplishment the words which He spake, it is clear that He speaks the truth also in 
the predictions of things yet to come, when He saith, “He who despiseth things present shall 
receive an hundred-fold, and shall inherit everlasting life.” For the things which have been 
already done and spoken, He hath given as the surest pledges of those which shall hereafter 
come to pass. 

Of all these things then, and the like to these, collecting them together out of the Gospels, 
let us tell them, and so stop their mouths. But if any one say, Why then was not error com- 
pletely extinguished? this maybe our answer: Ye yourselves are to blame, who rebel against 


Homily VII 

your own salvation. For God hath so ordered this matter (cpKOVopqaev,) that not even a 
remnant of the old impiety need be left. 

[20.] Now, briefly to recount what has been said: What is the natural course of things? 
That the weak should be overcome by the strong, or the contrary? Those who speak things 
easy, or things of the harsher sort? those who attract men with dangers, or with security? 
innovators, or those who strengthen custom? those who lead into a rough, or into a smooth 
way? those who withdraw men from the institutions of their fathers, or those who lay down 
no strange laws? those who promise all their good things after our departure from this world, 
or those who flatter in the present life? the few to overcome the many, or the many the few? 

But you, too, saith one, gave promises pertaining to this life. What then have we promised 
in this life? The forgiveness of sins and the laver of regeneration. Now in the first place, 
baptism itself hath its chief part in things to come; and Paul exclaims, saying, (Col. iii. 4.) 
“For ye died, and your life is hid with Christ in God: when your life shall be manifested, 
then shall ye also with Him be manifested in glory.” But if in this life also it hath advantages, 
as indeed it hath, this also is more than all a matter of great wonder, that they had power to 
persuade men who had done innumerable evil deeds, yea such as no one else had done, that 
they should wash themselves clean of all, and they should give account of none of their of- 
fences. So that on this very account it were most of all meet to wonder that they persuaded 
Barbarians to embrace such a faith as this, and to have good hopes concerning things to 
come; and having thrown off the former burden of their sins, to apply themselves with the 
greatest zeal for the time to come to those toils which virtue requires, and not to gape after 
any object of sense, but rising to a height above all bodily things, to receive gifts purely 
spiritual: yea, that the Persian, the Sarmatian, the Moor, and the Indian should be acquainted 
with the purification of the soul, and the power of God, and His unspeakable mercy to men, 
and the severe discipline of faith, and the visitation of the Holy Spirit, and the resurrection 
of bodies, and the doctrines of life eternal. For in all these things, and in whatever is more 
than these, the fishermen, initiating by Baptism divers races of Barbarians, persuaded them 
(cpiAooocpeTv) to live on high principles. 

Of all these things then, having observed them accurately, let us speak unto the Gentiles, 
and again, let us shew them the evidence of our lives: that by both means we ourselves may 
be saved and they drawn over by our means unto the glory of God. For unto Him be the 
glory for ever. Amen. 


Homily VIII 

Homily VIII. 

1 Cor. iii. 1-3 

And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto Carnal, as unto babes 
in Christ. I fed you with milk, and not with meat: for ye were not yet able to bear it; nay, 
not even now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal. 

After having overturned the philosophy which is from without, and cast down all its 
arrogance, he comes unto another argument. For it was likely that they would say, “If we 
were putting forth the opinions of Plato, or of Pythagoras, or any other of the philosophers, 
reason were thou shouldest draw out such a long discourse against us. But if we announce 
the things of the Spirit, for what reason dost thou turn and toss up and down (avoo real Karoo 
arpecpetc;) the wisdom which is from without?” 

Hear then how he makes his stand against this. “And I, brethren, could not speak unto 
you as unto spiritual.” Why, in the first place, says he, though you had been perfect in spir- 
itual things also, not even so ought you to be elated; for what you preach is not your own, 
nor such as yourselves have found from your own means. But now even these things ye 
know not as ye ought to know them, but ye are learners, and the last of all. Whether therefore 
the Gentile wisdom be the occasion of your high imaginations; that hath been proved to be 
nothing, nay, in regard to spiritual things to be even contrary unto us: or if it be on account 
of things spiritual, in these, too, ye come short and have your place among the hindmost. 
Wherefore he saith, “I could not speak unto you as unto spiritual.” He said not, “I did not 
speak,” lest the thing might seem to proceed from his grudging them somewhat; but in two 
ways he brings down their high spirit; first, because they knew not the things that are perfect; 
next, because their ignorance was owing to themselves: yea, in a third way besides these, by 
pointing out that “not even now are they able [to bear it] .” For as to their want of ability at 
first, that perhaps arose from the nature of the case. In fact, however, he does not leave them 
even this excuse. For not through any inability on their part to receive high doctrines, doth 
he say they received them not, but because they were “carnal.” However, in the beginning 
this was not so blame-worthy; but that after so long a time, they had not yet arrived at the 
more perfect knowledge, this was a symptom of most utter dulness. 

It may be observed, that he brings the same charge against the Hebrews, not however, 
with so much vehemence. For those, he saith, are such, partly because of tribulation: but 
these, because of some appetite for wickedness. Now the two things are not the same. He 
implies too, that in the one case he was intending rebuke, in the other rather stirring them 
up, when he spake these words of truth. For to these Corinthians he saith, “Neither yet now 
are ye able;” but unto the others (Heb. vi. 1.) “Wherefore let us cease to speak of the first 


Homily VIII 

principles of Christ, and press on unto perfection:” and again, (lb. v. 9.) “we are persuaded 
better things concerning you, and things which accompany salvation, though we thus speak.” 

[2.] And how calleth he those “carnal,” who had attained so large a measure of the 
Spirit; and into whose praises, at the beginning he had entered so much at large? Because 
they also were carnal, unto whom the Lord saith, (St. Matt. vii. 22, 23.) “Depart from Me, 
ye workers of iniquity, I know you not;” and yet they both cast out devils, and raised the 
dead, and uttered prophecies. So that it is possible even for one who wrought miracles to 
be carnal. For so God wrought by Balaam, and unto Pharaoh He revealed things to come, 
and unto Nebuchadnezzar; and Caiaphas prophesied, not knowing what he said; yea, and 
some others cast out devils in His name, though they were (Luke ix. 49.) “not with Him;” 
since not for the doers’ sake are these things done, but for others’ sake: nor is it seldom, that 
those who were positively unworthy have been made instrumental to them. Now why 
wonder, if in the case of unworthy men these things are done for others’ sake, seeing that 
so it is, even when they are wrought by saints? For Paul saith, (1 Cor. iii. 22.) “All things are 
yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or life, or death:” and again, (Ephes. iv. 11, 12.) 
“He gave some Apostles, and some Prophets, and some Pastors and Teachers, for the per- 
fecting of the saints, unto the work of ministering.” For if it were not so, there would have 
been no security against universal corruption. For it maybe that rulers are wicked and pol- 
luted, and their subjects good and virtuous; that laymen may live in piety, and priests in 
wickedness; and there could not have been either baptism, or the body of Christ, or oblation, 
through such, if in every instance grace required merit. But as it is, God uses to work even 
by unworthy persons, and in no respect is the grace of baptism damaged by the conduct of 
the priest: else would the receiver suffer loss. Accordingly, though such things happen rarely, 
still, it must be owned, they do happen. Now these things I say, lest any one of the 
bystanders busying himself about the life of the priest, should be offended as concerning 
the things solemnized (rot rsAoupeva). “For man introduceth nothing into the things which 
are set before us 49 , but the whole is a work of the power of God, and He it is who initiates 
(6 puorayojycov) you into the mysteries.” 

[3.] “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal. I 
fed you with milk, and not with meat. For ye were not able [to bear it.]” 

For lest he should seem to have spoken ambitiously (cpiAoripfac; evexa, to obtain favor) 
these things which he hath just spoken; “the spiritual man judgeth all things,” and, “he 
himself is judged of no man,” and, “we have the mind of Christ;” with a view also to repress 
their pride: observe what he saith. “Not on this account,” saith he, “was I silent, because I 
was not able to tell you more, but because ‘ye are carnal: neither yet now are ye able.’” 

49 ret itpOKe(|T£va, a liturgical word; the Sacred Elements; vid. St. Basil’s Liturgy, and St. Chrysostom’s. 


Homily VIII 

Why said he not, “ye are not willing,” but “ye are not able?” Even because he put the 
latter for the former. For as to the want of ability, it arises from the want of will. Which to 
them indeed is a matter of accusation, but to their teacher, of excuse. For if they had been 
unable by nature, one might perhaps have been forgiven them; but since it was from choice, 
they were bereft of all excuse. He then speaks of the particular point also which makes them 
carnal. “For whereas there is among you strife, and jealousy, and division, are ye not carnal 
and walk as men?” Although he had fornications also and uncleannesses of theirs to speak 
of, he sets down rather that offence which he had been a good while endeavoring to correct. 
Now if “jealousy” makes men carnal, it is high time for us to bewail bitterly, and to clothe 
ourselves with sackcloth and lie in ashes. For who is pure from this passion? Except indeed 
I am but conjecturing the case of others from myself. If “jealousy” maketh men “carnal,” 
and suffereth them not to be “spiritual,” although they prophesy and show forth other 
wonderful works; now, when not even so much grace is with us, what place shall we find 
for our own doings; when not in this matter alone, but also in others of greater moment, 
we are convicted. 

[4.] From this place we learn that Christ had good reason for saying, (St. John iii. 20.) 
“He that doeth evil cometh not to light;” and that unclean life is an obstacle to high doctrines, 
not suffering the clear-sightedness of the understanding to shew itself. As then it is not in 
any case possible for a person in error, but living uprightly, to remain in error; so it is not 
easy for one brought up in iniquity, speedily to look up to the height of the doctrines delivered 
to us, but he must be clean from all the passions who is to hunt after the truth: for whoso is 
freed from these shall be freed also from his error and attain unto the truth. For do not, I 
beseech you, think that abstinence merely from covetousness or fornication may suffice 
thee for this purpose. Not so. All must concur in him that seeketh the truth. Wherefore saith 
Peter, (Acts x. 34, 35.) “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons; but in every 
nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is acceptable to Him:” that is, He 
calls and attracts him unto the truth. Seest thou not Paul, that he was more vehement than 
any one in warring and persecuting? yet because he led an irreproachable life, and did these 
things not through human passion, he was both received, and reached a mark beyond all. 
But if any one should say, “How doth such a one, a Greek, who is kind, and good, and hu- 
mane, continue in error?” this would be my answer: He hath some other passion, vainglory, 
or indolence of mind, or want of carefulness about his own salvation, accounting that all 
things which concern him are drifted along loosely and at random. 50 Peter calls the man 
irreproachable in all things one that “worketh righteousness,” [and Paul says] “touching the 
righteousness which is in the law found blameless.” Again, “I give thanks to God, whom I 
serve from my forefathers with a pure conscience,” (2 Tim. i. 3.) How then, you will say, 

50 [The version of this sentence follows Dr. Field’s text. C.] 


Homily VIII 

were unclean persons considered worthy of the Gospel? Because they wished and longed 
for it. Thus the one sort, though in error, are attracted by Him, because they are clean from 
passions; the others, of their own accord approaching, are not thrust back. Many also even 
from their ancestors have received the true religion. 

[5.] Ver. 3. “For whereas there is among you jealousy and strife.” 

At this point he prepares himself to wrestle with those whose part was obedience: for 
in what went before he hath been casting down the rulers of the Church, where he said that 
wisdom of speech is nothing worth. But here he strikes at those in subjection, in the words, 
Ver. 4. “For when one saith, I am Paul, and I of Apollos, are ye not carnal?” 

And he points out that this, so far from helping them at all or causing them to acquire 
any thing, had even become an obstacle to their profiting in the greater things. For this it 
was which brought forth jealousy, and jealousy had made them “carnal;” and the having 
become “carnal” left them not at liberty to hear truths of the sublimer sort. 

Ver. 5. “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos?” 

In this way, after producing and proving his facts, he makes his accusation henceforth 
more openly. Moreover, he employs his own name, doing away all harshness and not suffer- 
ing them to be angry at what it is said. For if Paul is nothing and murmur not, much less 
ought they to think themselves ill used. Two ways, you see, he has of soothing them; first 
by bringing forward his own person, then by not robbing them of all as if they contributed 
nothing. Rather he allows them some small portion: small though it be, he does allow it. 
For having said, “Who is Paul, and who Apollos,” he adds, “but ministers by whom ye be- 
lieved.” Now this in itself is a great thing, and deserving of great rewards: although in regard 
of the archetype and the root of all good, it is nothing. (For not he that “ministers” to our 
blessings, but he that provides and gives them, he is our Benefactor.) And he said not, 
“Evangelists,” but “Ministers,” which is more. For they had not merely preached the Gospel, 
but had also ministered unto us; the one being a matter of word only, while the other hath 
deed also. And so, if even Christ be a minister only of good things, and not the root Himself 
and the fountain, (I mean, of course, in that He is a Son,) observe to what an issue this 
matter is brought, (tiou to npaypct Kardyerat. “how deep and high it is made to go.”) How 
then, you will ask, doth he say that He “was made a Minister of Circumcision? (Rom. xv. 
8.) He is speaking in that place of His secret dispensation in the Flesh, and not in the same 
sense which we have now mentioned. For there, by “Minister,” he means “Fulfiller,” 
(TiAppcurfiv, i.e. of types), and not one that of his own store gives out the blessings. 

Further, he said not, “Those who guide you into the Faith,” but “those by whom ye be- 
lieved;” again attributing the greater share to themselves, and indicating by this also the 
subordinate class of ministers (roup Siaxovoup vcavreuGev SqAeov). Now if they were min- 
istering to another, how come they to seize the authority for themselves? But I would have 
you consider how in no wise he lays the blame on them as seizing it for themselves, but on 


Homily VIII 

those who endow them with it. For the ground- work of the error lay in the multitude; since, 
had the one fallen away, the other would have been broken up. Here are two points which 
he has skilfully provided for: in that first he hath prepared, as by mining (unopu^ac;,) in the 
quarter where it was necessary to overthrow the mischief; and next, on their side, in not at- 
tracting ill-will, nor yet making them more contentious. 

Ver. 5. “Even as Christ (6 Kupioq, rec. text.) gave to every man.” 

For not even this small thing itself was of themselves, but of God, who put it into their 
hands. For lest they might say, What then? are we not to love those that minister unto us? 
Yea, saith he; but you should know to what extent. For not even this thing itself is of them, 
but of God who gave it. 

Ver. 6. “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.” 

That is, I first cast the word into the ground; but, in order that the seeds might not 
wither away through temptations, Apollos added his own part. But the whole was of God. 

[6.] Ver. 7. “So then, neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth, but 
God that giveth the increase.” 

Do you observe the manner in which he soothes them, so that they should not be too 
much irritated, on hearing, “Who is this person,” and “Who is that?” “Nay, both are invidious, 
namely, both the saying, ‘Who is this person? Who the other,’” and the saying, that “neither 
he that planteth nor he that watereth is any thing.” How then does he soften these expres- 
sions? First, By attaching the contempt to his own person, “Who is Paul, and who Apollos?” 
and next, by referring the whole to God who gave all things. For after he had said, “Such a 
person planted,” and added, “He that planteth is nothing,” he subjoined, “but God that 
giveth the increase.” Nor does he stop even here, but applies again another healing clause, 
in the words. 

Ver. 8. “He that planteth and he that watereth, are one.” 

For by means of this he establishes another point also, viz. that they should not be exalted 
one against another. His assertion, that they are one, refers to their inability to do any thing 
without “God that giveth the increase.” And thus saying, he permitted not either those who 
labored much to lift themselves up against those who had contributed less; nor these again 
to envy the former. In the next place, since this had a tendency to make men more indolent, 
I mean, all being esteemed as one, whether they have labored much or little; observe how 
he sets this right, saying, “But each shall receive his own reward according to his own labor.” 
As if he said, “Fear not, because I said, Ye are one; for, compared with the work of God, they 
are one; howbeit, in regard to labors, they are not so, but “each shall receive his own reward.” 

Then he smooths it still more, having succeeded in what he wished; and gratifies them, 
where it is allowed, with liberality. 

Ver. 9. For we are God’s fellow-workers: “ye are God’s husbandry, God’s building.” 


Homily VIII 

Seest thou how to them also he hath assigned no small work, having before laid it down 
that the whole is of God? For since he is always persuading them to obey those that have 
the rule over them, on this account he abstains from making very light of their teachers. 

“Ye are God’s husbandry.” 

For because he had said, “I planted,” he kept to the metaphor. Now if ye be God’s hus- 
bandry, it is right that you should be called not from those who cultivate you, but from God. 
For the field is not called the husbandman’s, but the householder’s. 

“Ye are God’s building.” 

Again, the building is not the workman’s, but the master’s. Now if ye be a building, ye 
must not be forced asunder: since this were no building. If ye be a farm, ye must not be di- 
vided, but be walled in with a single fence, namely, unanimity. 

Ver. 10. “According to the Grace of God which was given unto me, as a wise master- 
builder I laid a foundation.” 

In this place he calls himself wise, not exalting himself, but to give them an ensample, 
and to point out that this is a wise man’s part, to lay a foundation. You may observe as one 
instance of his modest bearing, that in speaking of himself as wise, he allowed not this to 
stand as though it were something of his own; but first attributing himself entirely unto 
God, then and not till then calls himself by that name. For, “according to the Grace of God,” 
saith he, “which was given unto me.” Thus, at once he signifies both that the whole is of 
God; and that this most of all is Grace, viz. the not being divided, but resting on One 

[7.] “Another buildeth thereon; but let each man take heed how he buildeth thereon.” 

Here, I think, and in what follows, he puts them upon their trial concerning practice, 
after that he had once for all knit them together and made them one. 

Ver. 11. “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 

I say, no man can lay it so long as he is a master-builder; but if he lay it, (xiGp conj. for 
re0p. Dounceus ap. Savil. viii. not. p. 261.) he ceases to be a master-builder. 

See how even from men’s common notions he proves the whole of his proposition. His 
meaning is this: “I have preached Christ, I have delivered unto you the foundation. Take 
heed how you build thereon, lest haply it be in vainglory, lest haply so as to draw away the 
disciples unto men.” Let us not then give heed unto the heresies. “For other foundation can 
no man lay than that which is laid.” Upon this then let us build, and as a foundation let us 
cleave to it, as a branch to a vine; and let there be no interval between us and Christ. For if 
there be any interval, immediately we perish. For the branch by its adherence draws in the 
fatness, and the building stands because it is cemented together. Since, if it stand apart it 
perishes, having nothing whereon to support itself. Let us not then merely keep hold of 
Christ, but let us be cemented to Him, for if we stand apart, we perish. “For they who with- 
draw themselves far from Thee, shall perish;” (Ps. lxxiii. 27. Sept.) so it is said. Let us cleave 


Homily VIII 

then unto Him, and let us cleave by our works. “For he that keepeth my commandments, 
the same abidethinMe” (Johnxiv. 21. in substance.) And accordingly, there are many images 
whereby He brings us into union. Thus, if you mark it, He is “the Head,” we are “the body:” 
can there be any empty interval between the head and body? He is “a Foundation,” we “a 
building:” He “a Vine,” we “branches:” He “the Bridegroom,” we “the bride:” He “the 
Shepherd,” we “the sheep;” He is “the Way,” we “they who walk therein.” Again, we are “a 
temple,” He “the Indweller:” He “the First-Begotten,” we “the brethren:” He “the Heir,” we 
“the heirs together with Him:” He “the Life,” we “the living:” He “the Resurrection,” we 
“those who rise again:” He “the Light,” we “the enlightened.” All these things indicate unity; 
and they allow no void interval, not even the smallest. For he that removes but to a little 
distance will go on till he has become very far distant. For so the body, receiving though it 
be but a small cut by a sword, perishes: and the building, though there be but a small chink, 
falls to decay: and the branch, though it be but a little while cut off from the root, becomes 
useless. So that this trifle is no trifle, but is even almost the whole. Whensoever then we 
commit some little fault or even negligence, let us not overlook that little; since this, being 
disregarded, quickly becomes great. So also when a garment hath begun to be torn and is 
neglected, it is apt to prolong its rent all throughout; and a roof, when a few tiles have fallen, 
being disregarded, brings down the whole house. 

[8.] These things then let us bear in mind, and never slight the small things, lest we fall 
into those which are great. But if so be that we have slighted them and are come into the 
abyss of evils, not even when we are come there let us despond, lest we fall into recklessness 
(K0tpr|(3apiav). For to emerge from thence is hard ever after, for one who is not extremely 
watchful; not because of the distance alone, but of the very position, too, wherein we find 
ourselves. For sin also is a deep, and is wont to bear down and crush. And just as those who 
have fallen into a well cannot with ease get out, but will want others to draw them up; so 
also is he that is come into any depth of sins. To such then we must lower ropes and draw 
them up. Nay rather, we need not others only, but ourselves also, that we for our part may 
fasten on ourselves and ascend, I say not so much as we have descended, but much further, 
if we be willing: for why? God also helpeth: for He willeth not the death of a sinner so much 
as his conversion. Let no one then despair; let no one have the feeling of the ungodly; for to 
them properly belongs this kind of sin: “an ungodly man having come into any depth of 
evils, makes light of it 51 .” So that it is not the multitude of men’s sins which causes their 
despair, but their ungodly mind. 

Shouldest thou then have gone all lengths in wickedness, yet say unto thyself, God is 
loving unto men and he desires our salvation: for “though your sins be as scarlet, I will 
whiten you as snow,” (Is. i. 10. Sept.) saith He; and unto the contrary habit I will change 

51 [This is an exact quotation from the Sept, version of Prov. xviii. 3.] 


Homily VIII 

you. Let us not therefore give up in despair; for to fall is not so grievous, as to lie where we 
have fallen; nor to be wounded so dreadful, as after wounds to refuse healing. “For who 
shall boast that he has his heart chaste? or who shall say confidently that he is pure from 
sin?” (Prov. xx. 9. Sept.) These things I say not to make you more negligent, but to prevent 
your despairing. 

Wouldest thou know how good our Master is? The Publican went up full of ten thousand 

wickednesses, and saying only, “Be merciful unto me,” went down justified. (St. Luke xviii. 

13, 14.) Yea, God saith by the prophet, “Because of sin for some little season I grieved him, 
(Is. lvii. 17, 18. Sept.) and I sawthat (riSov 5n not in Sept.) he was grieved and went sorrow- 
ful, and I healed his ways” (iaoapr|v aurov, Sept.) What is there equal to this loving-kindness? 
On condition (iva aruyvaari. See St. John viii. 56. tva i'5q rqv qpepav) of his “being but 
sorrowful,” so he speaks, “I forgave him his sins.” But we do not even this: wherefore we 
especially provoke God to wrath. (For he, who by little things even is made propitious, when 
He meets not with so much as these, is of course indignant and exacts of us the last penalty; 
for this comes of exceeding contempt.) Who is there, for instance, that hath ever become 
melancholy for his sins? Who hath bemoaned himself? Who hath beaten his breast? Who 
hath taken anxious thought? Not one, to my thinking. But days without number do men 
weep for dead servants; for the loss of money: while as to the soul which we are ruining day 
by day, we give it not a thought. How then wilt thou be able to render God propitious, when 
thou knowest not even that thou hast sinned? 

“Yea,” saith some one, “I have sinned.” “Yea,” is thy word to me with the tongue: say it 
to me with thy mind, and with the word mourn heavily, that thou mayest have continual 
cheerfulness. Since, if we did grieve for our sins, if we mourned heavily over our offences, 
nothing else could give us sorrow, this one pang would expel all kinds of dejection. Here 
then is another thing also which we should gain by our thorough confession; namely, the 
not being overwhelmed ((3anr((jea0ai) with the pains of the present life, nor puffed up with 
its splendors. And in this way, again, we should more entirely propitiate God; just as by our 
present conduct we provoke Him to anger. For tell me, if thou hast a servant, and he, after 
suffering much evil at the hands of his fellow- servants, takes no account of any one of the 
rest, but is only anxious not to provoke his master; is he not able by this alone to do away 
thine anger? But what, if his offenses against thee are no manner of care to him, while on 
those against his fellow- servants he is full of thought; wilt thou not lay on him the heavier 
punishment? So also God doeth: when we neglect His wrath, He brings it upon us more 
heavily; but when we regard it, more gently. Yea, rather, He lays it on us no more at all. He 
wills that we should exact vengeance of ourselves for our offences, and thenceforth He doth 
not exact it Himself. For this is why He at all threatens punishment; that by fear He may 


Homily VIII 

destroy contempt; and when the threat alone is sufficient to cause fear in us, He doth not 
suffer us to undergo the actual trial. See, for instance, what He saith unto Jeremiah, (Jer. vii. 
17, 18. Sept, transposing the first and second clauses.) “Seest thou not what they do? Their 
fathers light a fire, their children gather sticks together, their women knead dough.” It is to 
be feared lest the same kind of thing be said also concerning us. “Seest thou not what they 
do? No one seeketh the things of Christ, but all their own. Their children run into unclean- 
ness, their fathers into covetousness and rapine, their wives so far from keeping back their 
husbands from the pomps and vanities of life, do rather sharpen their appetites for them.” 
Just take your stand in the market place; question the comers and goers, and not one wilt 
thou see hastening upon a spiritual errand, but all running after carnal things. How long 
ere we awake from our surfeiting? How long are we to keep sinking down into deep slumber? 
Have we not had our fill of evils? 

[9.] And yet one might think that even without words experience itself is sufficient to 
teach you the nothingness of things present, and their utter meanness. At all events, there 
have been men, who, exercising mere heathen wisdom and knowing nothing of the future, 
because they had proved the great worthlessness of present things, have left them on this 
account alone. What pardon then canst thou expect to obtain, grovelling on the ground and 
not despising the little things and transient for the sake of the great and everlasting: who 
also hearest God Himself declaring and revealing these things unto thee, and hast such 
promises from Him? For that things here have no sufficient power to detain a man, those 
have shewn who even without any promise of things greater have kept away from them. 
For what wealth did they expect that they came to poverty? There was none. But it was from 
their knowing full well that such poverty is better than wealth. What sort of life did they 
hope for that they forsook luxury, and gave themselves up unto severe discipline? Not any. 
But they had become aware of the very nature of things; and perceived that this of the two 
is more suitable, both for the strict training of the soul, and for the health of the body. 

These things then duly estimating, and revolving with ourselves continually the future 
blessings, let us withdraw from this present world that we may obtain that other which is 
to come; through the favor and loving kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom to 
the Father and the Holy Ghost &c., &c. 


Homily IX 

Homily IX. 

1 Cor. iii. 12-15 

If any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, stubble; each 
man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it is revealed in 
fire; and the fire shall prove each man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide 
which he built thereon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he 
shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as through fire. 

This is no small subject of enquiry which we propose, but rather about things which 
are of the first necessity and which all men enquire about; namely, whether hell fire have 
any end. For that it hath no end Christ indeed declared when he said, “Their fire shall not 
be quenched, and their worm shall not die.” [Mark viii. 44, 46, 48.] 

Well: I know that a chill comes over you (vapKcfce) on hearing these things; but what 
am I to do? For this is God’s own command, continually to sound these things in your ears, 
where He says, “Charge this people; (Fors. Exod. xix. 10, 20. Siapaprupai, Sept, here 
SiaoreiAai,) and ordained as we have been unto the ministry of the word, we must give pain 
to our hearers, not willingly but on compulsion. Nay rather, if you will, we shall avoid giving 
you pain. For saith He, (Rom. xiii. 3, in substance.) “if thou do that which is good, fear not:” 
so that it is possible for you to hear me not only without ill-will, but even with pleasure. 

As I said then; that it hath no end, Christ has declared. Paul also saith, in pointing out 
the eternity of the punishment, that the sinners “shall pay the penalty of destruction, and 
that for ever” (2 Thess. i. 9.) And again, (1 Cor. vi. 9.) “Be not deceived; neither fornicators, 
nor adulterers, nor effeminate, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” And also unto the Hebrews 
he saith, (Heb. xii. 14.) “Follow peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no 
man shall see the Lord.” And Christ also, to those who said, “In thy Name we have done 
many wonderful works,” saith, “Depart from Me, I know you not, ye workers of iniquity” 
(St. Matt. vii. 22.) And the virgins too who were shut out, entered in no more. And also 
about those who gave Him no food, He saith, (St. Matt. xxv. 46.) “They shall go away into 
everlasting punishment.” 

[2.] And say not unto me, “where is the rule of justice preserved entire, if the punishment 
hath no end?” Rather, when God doeth any thing, obey His decisions and submit not what 
is said to human reasonings. But moreover, how can it be any thing else than just for one 
who hath experienced innumerable blessings from the beginning, and then committed deeds 
worthy of punishment, and neither by threat nor benefit improved at all, to suffer punish- 
ment? For if thou enquire what is absolute justice; it was meet that we should have perished 
immediately from the beginning, according to the definition of strict justice. Rather not 
even then according to the rule of justice only; for the result would have had in it kindness 


Homily IX 

too, if we had suffered this also. For when any one insults him that hath done him no wrong, 
according to the rule of justice he suffers punishment: but when it is his benefactor, who, 
bound by no previous favor, bestowed innumerable kindnesses, who alone is the Author of 
his being, who is God, who breathed his soul into him, who gave ten thousand gifts of grace, 
whose will is to take him up into heaven; — when, I say, such an one, after so great blessings, 
is met by insult, daily insult, in the conduct of the other party; how can that other be thought 
worthy of pardon? Dost thou not see how He punished Adam for one single sin? 

“Y es,” you will say; “but He had given him Paradise and caused him to enj oy much favor.” 
Nay, surely it is not all as one, for a man to sin in the enjoyment of security and ease, and 
in a state of great affliction. In fact, this is the dreadful circumstance that thy sins are the 
sins of one not in any Paradise but amid the innumerable evils of this life; that thou art not 
sobered even by affliction, as though one in prison should still practise his crime. However, 
unto thee He hath promised things yet greater than Paradise. But neither hath He given 
them now, least He should unnerve thee in the season of conflicts; nor hath He been silent 
about them, lest He should quite cast thee down with thy labors. As for Adam, he committed 
but one sin and brought on himself certain death; whereas we commit ten thousand trans- 
gressions daily. Now if he by that one act brought on himself so great an evil and introduced 
death; what shall not we suffer who continually live in sins, and instead of Paradise, have 
the expectation of heaven? 

The argument is irksome and pains the hearer: were it only by my own feelings, I know 
this. For indeed my heart is troubled and throbs; and the more I see the account of hell 
confirmed, the more do I tremble and shrink through fear. But it is necessary to say these 
things lest we fall into hell. What thou didst receive was not paradise, nor trees and plants, 
but heaven and the good things in the heavens. Now if he that had received less was con- 
demned, and no consideration exempted him, much more shall we who have sinned more 
abundantly, and have been called unto greater things, endure the woes without remedy. 

Consider, for example, how long a time, but for one single sin, our race abides in death. 


Five thousand years and more have passed, and death hath not yet been done away, on 
account of one single sin. And we cannot even say that Adam had heard prophets, that he 
had seen others punished for sins, and it was meet that he should have been terrified thereby 
and corrected, were it only by the example. For he was at that time first, and alone; but 
nevertheless he was punished. But thou canst not have anything of this sort to advance, who 
after so many examples art become worse; to whom so excellent a Spirit hath been vouch- 
safed, and yet thou drawest upon thyself not one sin, nor two, nor three, but sins without 

52 According to the reckoning of the LXX, in Gen. 5. which adding 100 years to the five first generations, and 
also to the seventh, and making some slight difference in the lives of Methuselah and Lamech, brings the date 
of the flood to A.M. 2242, and that of our Lord’s birth to 5500. 


Homily IX 

number! For do not, because the sin is committed in a small moment, calculate that therefore 
the punishment also must be a matter of a moment. Seest thou not those men, who for a 
single theft or a single act of adultery, committed in a small moment of time, oftentimes 
have spent their whole life in prisons, and in mines, struggling with continual hunger and 
every kind of death? And there was no one to set them at liberty, or to say, “The offence 
took place in a small moment of time; the punishment too should have its time equivalent 
to that of the sin.” 

[3.] But, “They are men,” some one will say, “who do these things; as for God, He is 
loving unto men.” Now, first of all, not even men do these things in cruelty, but in humanity. 
And God Himself, as “He is loving unto men,” in the same character doth He punish sins. 
(Sirac. xvi. 12.) “For as His mercy is great, so also is His reproof.” When therefore thou 
sayest unto me, “God is loving unto men,” then thou tellest me of so much the greater 
reason for punishing: namely, our sinning against such a Being. Hence also Paul said, (Heb. 
x. 31.) “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Endure I beseech you, 
the fiery force of the words, for perhaps — perhaps you will have some consolation from 
hence! Who among men can punish as God has punished? when He caused a deluge and 
entire destruction of a race so numerous; and again, when, a little while after, He rained fire 
from above, and utterly destroyed them all? What punishment from men can be like that? 
Seest thou not that the punishment even in this world is almost eternal? Four thousand 
years have passed away, and the punishment of the Sodomites abideth at its height. For as 
His mercy is great, so also is His punishment. 

Again: if He had imposed any burdensome or impossible things, one might perhaps 
have been able to urge difficulty of the laws: but if they be extremely easy, what can we say 
for our not regarding even these? Suppose thou art unable to fast or to practice virginity; 
although thou art able if thou wilt, and they who have been able are a condemnation to us. 
But, however, God hath not used this strictness towards us; neither hath He enjoined these 
things nor laid them down as laws, but left the choice to be at the discretion of the hearers. 
Nevertheless, thou art able to be chaste in marriage; and thou art able to abstain from 
drunkenness. Art thou unable to empty thyself of all thy goods? Nay surely thou art able; 
and they who have done so prove it. But nevertheless He hath not enjoined this, but hath 
commanded not to be rapacious, and of our means to assist those who are in want. But if a 
man say, I cannot even be content with a wife only, he deceiveth himself and reasoneth 
falsely; and they condemn him who without a wife lives in chastity. But how, tell me, canst 
thou help using abusive words? canst thou not help cursing? Why, the doing these things 
is irksome, not the refraining from them. What excuse then have we for not observing pre- 
cepts so easy and light? We cannot name any at all. That the punishment then is eternal is 
plain from all that hath been said. 


Homily IX 

[4.] But since Paul’s saying appears to some to tell the other way, come let us bring it 
forward also and search it out thoroughly. For having said, “If any man’s work abide which 
he hath built thereon, he shall receive a reward; and if any man’s work shall be burned, he 
shall suffer loss,” he adds, “but himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire.” What shall we 
say then to this? Let us consider first what is “the Foundation,” and what “the gold,” and 
what “the precious stones,” and what “the hay,” and what the “stubble.” 

“The Foundation,” then, he hath himself plainly signified to be Christ, saying, “For 
other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which,” he saith “is Jesus Christ.” 

Next, the building seems to me to be actions. Although some maintain that this also is 
spoken concerning teachers and disciples and concerning corrupt heresies: but the reasoning 
doth not admit it. For if this be it, in what sense, while “the work is destroyed,” is the 
“builder” to be “saved,” though it be “through fire?” Of right, the author ought rather of the 
two to perish; but now it will be found that the severer penalty is assigned to him who hath 
been built into the work. For if the teacher was the cause of the wickedness, he is worthy to 
suffer severer punishment: how then shall he be “saved?” If, on the contrary, he was not the 
cause but the disciples became such through their own perverseness, he is no whit deserving 
of punishment, no, nor yet of sustaining loss: he, I say, who builded so well. In what sense 
then doth he say, “he shall suffer loss?” 

From this it is plain that the discourse is about actions. For since he means next in course 
to put out his strength against the man who had committed fornication, he begins high up 
and long beforehand to lay down the preliminaries. For he knew how while discussing one 
subject, in the very discourse about that thing to prepare the grounds of another to which 
he intends to pass on. For so in his rebuke for not awaiting one another at their meals, he 
laid the grounds of his discourse concerning the mysteries. And also because now he is 
hastening on towards the fornicator, while speaking about the “Foundation,” he adds, “Know 
ye not that ye are the Temple of God? and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man 
destroy (<T>0etpr|, rec. version, “defile.”) the Temple of God, him will God destroy.” Now 
these things, he said, as beginning now to agitate with fears the soul of him that had been 

[5.] Ver. 12. “If any man build upon this foundation, gold, silver, costly stones, wood, 
hay, stubble.” For after the faith there is need of edification: and therefore he saith elsewhere, 
“Edify one another with these words.” (perhaps 1 Thes. v. 1 1; iv. 5.) For both the artificer 
and the learner contribute to the edifying. Wherefore he saith, “But let every man take heed 
how he buildeth thereon.” (1 Cor. iii. 10.) But if faith had been the subject of these sayings, 
the thing affirmed is not reasonable. For in the faith all ought to be equal, since “there is but 
one faith;” (Ephes. iv. 5.) but in goodness of life it is not possible that all should be the same. 
Because the faith is not in one case less, in another more excellent, but the same in all those 
who truly believe. But in life there is room for some to be more diligent, others more slothful; 


Homily IX 

some stricter, and others more ordinary; that some should have done well in greater things, 
others in less; that the errors of some should have been more grievous, of others less notable. 
On this account he saith, “Gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, stubble, — every man’s work 
shall be made manifest:” — his conduct; that is what he speaks of here: — “If any man’s work 
abide which he built thereupon, he shall receive a reward; if any man’s work shall be burned, 
he shall suffer loss.” Whereas, if the saying related to disciples and teachers, he ought not 
to “suffer loss” for disciples refusing to hear. And therefore he saith, “Every man shall receive 
his own reward according to his own labor” not according to the result, but according to 
“the labor.” For what if the hearers gave no heed? Wherefore this passage also proves that 
the saying is about actions. 

Now his meaning is this: If any man have an ill life with a right faith, his faith shall not 
shelter him from punishment, his work being burnt up. The phrase, “shall be burned up,” 
means, “shall not endure the violence of the fire.” But just as if a man having golden armor 
on were to pass through a river of fire, he comes from crossing it all the brighter; but if he 
were to pass through it with hay, so far from profiting, he destroys himself besides; so also 
is the case in regard of men’s works. For he doth not say this as if he were discoursing of 
material things being burnt up, but with a view of making their fear more intense, and of 
shewing how naked of all defence he is who abides in wickedness. Wherefore he said, “He 
shall suffer loss:” lo, here is one punishment: “but he himself shall be saved, but so as by 
fire;” lo, again, here is a second. And his meaning is, “He himself shall not perish in the same 
way as his works, passing into nought, but he shall abide in the fire. 

[6.] “He calleth it, however, “Salvation,” you will say; why, that is the cause of his adding, 
“so as by fire:” since we also used to say, “It is preserved in the fire,” when we speak of those 
substances which do not immediately burn up and become ashes. For do not at sound of 
the word fire imagine that those who are burning pass into annihilation. And though he 
call such punishment Salvation, be not astonished. For his custom is in things which have 
an ill sound to use fair expressions, and in good things the contrary. For example, the word 
“Captivity” seems to be the name of an evil thing, but Paul has applied it in a good sense, 
when he says, “Bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Cor. x. 
5.) And again, to an evil thing he hath applied a good word, saying, “Sin reigned,” (Rom. v. 
21.) here surely the term “reigning” is rather of auspicious sound. And so here in saying, 
“he shall be saved,” he hath but darkly hinted at the intensity of the penalty: as if he had 
said, “But himself shall remain forever in punishment.” He then makes an inference, saying, 

[7.] Ver. 16. “Know ye not that ye are the Temple of God?” For since he had discoursed 
in the section before, concerning those who were dividing the Church, he thenceforward 

53 [Few accept this singular explanation. The common view of the clause is that it means that the man is 
saved, but as if through the very flames, i.e., with the greatest difficulty. 1 Pet. iv. 18. C.] 


Homily IX 

attacks him also who had been guilty of uncleanness; not indeed as yet in plain terms but 
in a general way; hinting at his corrupt mode of life and enhancing the sin, by the Gift which 
had been already given to him. Then also he puts all the rest to shame, arguing from these 
very blessings which they had already: for this is what he is ever doing, either from the future 
or from the past, whether grievous or encouraging. First, from things future; “For the day 
shall declare it, because it is revealed by fire.” Again, from things already come to pass; 
“Know ye not that ye are the Temple of God, and the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” 

Ver. 1 7. “If any man destroy the T emple of God, him will God destroy.” Dost thou mark 
the sweeping vehemence of his words? However, so long as the person is unknown, what 
is spoken is not so invidious, all dividing among themselves the fear of rebuke. 

“Him will God destroy,” that is, will cause him to perish. And this is not the word of 
one denouncing a curse, but of one that prophesieth. 

“For the Temple of God is holy:” but he that hath committed fornication is profane. 
Then, in order that he might not seem to spend his earnestness upon that one, in saying, 
“for the Temple of God is holy,” he addeth, “which ye are.” 

[8.] Ver. 18. “Let no man deceive himself.” This also is in reference to that person, as 
thinking himself to be somewhat and flattering himself on wisdom. But that he might not 
seem to press on him at great length in a mere digression; he first throws him into a kind 
of agony and delivers him over unto fear, and then brings back his discourse to the common 
fault, saying, “If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a 
fool, that he may become (yevr|rat. rec. vers, “be.”) wise.” And this 54 he doth afterwards 
with great boldness of speech, as having sufficiently beaten them down 55 , and shaken with 
that fear the mind not of that unclean person only, but of all the hearers also: so accurately 
does he measure the reach of what he has to say. For what if a man be rich, what if he be 
noble; he is viler than all the vile, when made captive by sin. For as if a man were a king and 
enslaved to barbarians, he is of all men most wretched, so also is it in regard to sin: since 
sin is a barbarian, and the soul which hath been once taken captive she knoweth not how 
to spare, but plays the tyrant to the ruin of all those who admit her. 

[9.] For nothing is so inconsiderate as sin: nothing so senseless, so utterly foolish and 
outrageous. All is overturned and confounded and destroyed by it, wheresoever it may 
alight. Unsightly to behold, disgusting and grievous. And should a painter draw her picture 56 , 
he would not, methinks, err in fashioning her after this sort. A woman with the form of a 
beast, savage, breathing flames, hideous, black; such as the heathen poets depict their Scyllas. 

54 i.e. “reproving them for their common fault.” 

55 From this to the end of the sentence is not in Benedictine, but in Savile’s margin, evidently from some 
ms. It seems to complete the connection of the sentences. [But Dr. Field omits it.] 

56 Compare G. Herbert, Remains , p. 110. ed. 1824. 


Homily IX 

For with ten thousand hands she lays hold of our thoughts, and comes on unexpected, and 
tears everything in pieces, like those dogs that bite slily. 

But rather, what need of the painter’s art, when we should rather bring forward those 
who are made after sin’s likeness? 

Whom then will ye that we should portray first? The covetous and rapacious? And 
what more shameless than those eyes? What more immodest, more like a greedy dog? For 
no dog keeps his ground with such shameless impudence as he when he is grasping at all 
men’s goods. What more polluted than those hands? What more audacious than that mouth, 
swallowing all down and not satisfied? Nay, look not on the countenance and the eyes as 
being a man’s. For such looks belong not to the eyes of men. He seeth not men as men; he 
seeth not the heaven as heaven. He does not even lift up his head unto the Lord; but all is 
money in his account. The eyes of men are wont to look upon poor persons in affliction, 
and to be softened; but these of the rapacious man, at sight of the poor, glare like wild beasts’. 
The eyes of men do not behold other men’s goods as if they were their own, but rather their 
own as others; and they covet not the things given to others, but rather exhaust upon others 
their own means: but these are not content unless they take all men’s property. For it is not 
a man’s eye which they have, but a wild beast’s. The eyes of men endure not to see their own 
body stripped of clothing, (for it is their own, though in person it belong to others,) but 
these, unless they strip every one and lodge all men’s property in their own home, are never 
cloyed; yea rather they never have enough. Insomuch that one might say that their hands 
are not wild beasts’ only, but even far more savage and cruel than these. For bears and wolves 
when they are satiated leave off their kind of eating: but these know not any satiety. And 
yet for this cause God made us hands, to assist others, not to plot against them. And if we 
were to use them for that purpose, better had they been cut off and we left without them. 
But thou, if a wild beast rend a sheep, art grieved; but when doing the same unto one of 
thine own flesh and blood, thinkest thou that thy deed is nothing atrocious? How then canst 
thou be a man? Seest thou not that we call a thing humane, when it is full of mercy and 
loving-kindness? But when a man doth any thing cruel or savage, inhuman is the title we 
give to such a one. You see then that the stamp of man as we portray him is his showing 
mercy; of a beast the contrary; according to constant saying, “Why, is a man a wild beast, 
or a dog?” (vid. 2 Kings viii. 13.) For men relieve poverty; they do not aggravate it. Again 
these men’s mouths are the mouths of wild beasts; yea rather these are the fiercer of the two. 
For the words also, which they utter, emit poison, more than the wild beasts’ teeth, working 
slaughter. And if one were to go through all particulars, one should then see clearly how 
inhumanity turns those who practise it from men into beasts. 

[10.] But were he to search out the mind also of that sort of people, he would no longer 
call them beasts only, but demons. For first, they are full of great cruelty and of hatred against 
their “fellow-servant: (St. Matt, xviii. 33.) and neither is love of the kingdom there, nor fear 


Homily IX 

of hell; no reverence for men, no pity, no sympathy: but shamelessness and audacity, and 
contempt of all things to come. And unto them the words of God concerning punishment 
seem to be a fable, and His threats mirth. For such is the mind of the covetous man. Since 
then within they are demons, and without, wild beasts; yea, worse than wild beasts; where 
are we to place such as they are? For that they are worse even than wild beasts, is plain from 
this. The beasts are such as they are by nature: but these, endowed by nature with gentleness, 
forcibly strive against nature to train themselves to that which is savage. The demons too 
have the plotters among men to help them, to such an extent that if they had no such aid, 
the greater part of their wiles against us would be done away: but these, when such as they 
have spitefully entreated are vying with them, still try to be more spiteful then they. Again, 
the devil wages war with man, not with the demons of his own kind: but he of whom we 
speak is urgent in all ways to do harm to his own kindred and family, and doth not even 
reverence nature. 

I know that many hate us because of these words; but I feel no hatred towards them; 
rather I pity and bewail those who are so disposed. Even should they choose to strike, I 
would gladly endure it, if they would but abstain from this their savage mind. For not I 
alone, but the prophet also with me, banisheth all such from the family of men saying, (Ps. 
xlix. 20. Sept, rote; avopTOic;) “Man being in honor hath no understanding, but is like unto 
the senseless beasts.” 

Let us then become men at last, and let us look up unto heaven; and that which is ac- 
cording to His image, (Colos. iii. 10.) let us receive and recover: that we may obtain also the 
blessings to come through the grace and loving-kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, with 
Whom to the Father and the Holy Spirit be glory, power, honor, now and always, and unto 
everlasting ages. Amen. 


Homily X 

Homily X. 

1 Cor. iii. 18, 19 

Let no man deceive himself. If any man (evyjuiv omitted.) thinketh that he is wise in this world, 
let him become a fool, that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness 
with God. 

As I said before, having launched out before the proper time into accusation of the 
fornicator, and having half opened it obscurely in a few words, and made the man’s con- 
science to quail, he hastens again to the battle with heathen wisdom, and to his accusations 
of those who were puffed up there-with, and who were dividing the Church: in order that 
having added what remained and completed the whole topic with accuracy, he might 
thenceforth suffer his tongue to be carried away with vehement impulse against the unclean 
person, having had but a preliminary skirmishing with him in what he had said before. For 
this, “Let no man deceive himself,” is the expression of one aiming chiefly at him and quelling 
him beforehand by fear: and the saying about the “stubble,” suits best with one hinting at 
him. And so does the phrase, “Know ye not that ye are the Temple of God, and the Spirit 
of God dwelleth in you?” For these two things are most apt to withdraw us from sin; when 
we have in mind the punishment appointed for the sin; and when we reckon up the amount 
of our true dignity. By bringing forward then “the hay” and “the stubble,” he terrifies; but 
by speaking of the dignity of that noble birth which was theirs, he puts them to shame; by 
the former striving to amend the more insensible kind, by the latter the more considerate. 

[2.] “Let no man deceive himself; if any man thinketh that he is wise in this world, let 
him become a fool.” 

As he bids one become, as it were, dead unto the world; — and this deadness harms not 
at all, but rather profits, being made a cause of life: — so also he bids him become foolish 
unto this world, introducing to us hereby the true wisdom. Now he becomes a fool unto the 
world, who slights the wisdom from without, and is persuaded that it contributes nothing 
towards his comprehension of the faith. As then that poverty which is according to God is 
the cause of wealth, and lowliness, of exaltation, and to despise glory is the cause of glory; 
so also the becoming a fool maketh a man wiser than all. For all, with us, goes by contraries. 

Further: why said he not, “Let him put off wisdom,” but, “Let him become a fool?” That 
he might most exceedingly disparage the heathen instruction. For it was not the same thing 
to say, “Lay aside thy wisdom,” and, “become a fool.” And besides, he is also training people 
not to be ashamed at the want of refinement among us; for he quite laughs to scorn all 
heathen things. And for the same sort of reason he shrinks not from the names, trusting as 
he does to the power of the things [which he speaks of]. 


Homily X 

Wherefore, as the Cross, though counted ignominious, became the author of innumerable 
blessings, and the foundation and root of glory unspeakable; so also that which was accounted 
to be foolishness became unto us the cause of wisdom. For as he who hath learned anything 
ill, unless he put away the whole, and make his soul level and clear, and so offer it to him 
who is to write on it, will know no wholesome truth for certain; so also in regard of the 
wisdom from without. Unless thou turn out the whole and sweep thy mind clear, and like 
one that is ignorant yield up thyself unto the faith, thou wilt know accurately nothing excel- 
lent. For so those also who see imperfectly if they will not shut their eyes and commit 
themselves unto others, but will be trusting their own matters to their own faulty eyesight, 
they will commit many more mistakes than those who see not. 

But how, you will say, are men to put off this wisdom? By not acting on its precepts. 

[3.] Then, seeing that he bade men so urgently withdraw themselves from it, he adds 
the cause, saying, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.” For not only it 
contributes nothing, but it even hinders. We must then withdraw ourselves from it, as doing 
harm. Dost thou mark with what a high hand he carries off the spoils of victory, having 
proved that so far from profiting us at all, it is even an opponent? 

And he is not content with his own arguments, but he has also adduced testimony again, 
saying, “For it is written, (Job v. 13.) He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.” By “crafti- 
ness,” i.e. by their own arms getting the better of them. For seeing that they made use of 
their wisdom to the doing away of all need of God, by it and no other thing He refuted them, 
shewing that they were specially in need of God. How and by what method? Because having 
by it become fools, by it, as was meet, they were taken. For they who supposed that they 
needed not God, were reduced to so great a strait as to appear inferior to fishermen and 
unlettered persons; and from that time forth to be unable to do without them. Wherefore 
he saith, “In their own craftiness” He took them. For the saying “I will destroy their wisdom,” 
was spoken in regard to its introducing nothing useful; but this, “who taketh the wise in 
their own craftiness, with a view of shewing the power of God.” 

Next, he declares also the mode in which God took them, adding another testimony: 

Ver. 20. “For the Lord,” saith he, “knoweth the reasonings of men (Ps. xciv. 11. 
dvGpojnojv Sept.) that they are vain.” Now when the Wisdom which is boundless pronounces 
this edict concerning them, and declares them to be such, what other proof dost thou seek 
of their extreme folly? For men’s judgments, it is true, in many instances fail; but the decree 
of God is unexceptionable and uncorrupt in every case. 

[4.] Thus having set up so splendid a trophy of the judgment from on high, he employs 
in what follows a certain vehemence of style, turning it against those who were under his 
ministry, (apxopevoup) and speaking thus: 

Ver. 21. “Wherefore let no man glory in men; for all things are yours.” He comes again 
to the former topic, pointing out that not even for their spiritual things ought they to be 


Homily X 

highminded, as having nothing of themselves. “Since then the wisdom from without is 
hurtful, and the spiritual gifts were not given by you, what hast thou wherein to boast?” And 
in regard to the wisdom from without, “Let no man deceive himself,” saith he, because they 
were conceited about a thing which in truth did more harm than good. But here, inasmuch 
as the thing spoken of was really advantageous, “Let no man glory.” And he orders his speech 
more gently: “for all things are yours.” 

Ver. 22. “Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things 
present, or things to come, all are yours; and ye are Christ’s and Christ is God’s.” For because 
he had handled them sharply, he refreshes them again. And as above he had said, ( 1 Cor. 
iii. 9.) “We are fellow- workers with God;” and by many other expressions had soothed them: 
so here too he saith, “All things are yours;” taking down the pride of the teachers, and signi- 
fying that so far from bestowing any favor on them, they themselves ought to be grateful to 
the others. Since for their sake they were made such as they were, yea, moreover, had received 
grace. But seeing that these also were sure to boast, on this account he cuts out beforehand 
this disease too, saying, “As God gave to every man,” (Supr. vi. 5. 6.) and, “God gave the 
increase:” to the end that neither the one party might be puffed up as bestowers of good; 
nor the others, on their hearing a second time, “All things are yours,” be again elated. “For, 
indeed, though it were for your sakes, yet the whole was God’s doing.” And I wish you to 
observe how he hath kept on throughout, making suppositions in his own name and that 
of Peter. 

But what is, “or death?” That even though they die, for your sakes they die, encountering 
dangers for your salvation. Dost thou mark how he again takes down the high spirit of the 
disciples, and raises the spirit of the teachers? In fact, he talks with them as with children of 
high birth, who have preceptors, and who are to be heirs of all. 

We may say also, in another sense, that both the death of Adam was for our sakes, that 
we might be corrected; and the death of Christ, that we might be saved. 

“And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.” In one sense “we are Christ’s,” and in another 
sense “Christ is God’s,” and in a third sense is “the world ours.” For we indeed are Christ’s, 
as his work: “Christ is God’s,” as a genuine Offspring, not as a work: in which sense neither 
is the world ours. So that though the saying is the same, yet the meaning is different. For 
“the world is ours,” as being a thing made for our sakes: but “Christ is God’s,” as having 
Him the Author of his being, in that He is Father. And “we are Christ’s,” as having been 
formed by Him. Now “if they are yours,” saith he, “why have ye done what is just contrary 
to this, in calling yourselves after their name, and not after Christ, and God?” 

[5.] C. iv. ver. 1. “Let a man so account of us, as of ministers of Christ, and stewards of 
the mysteries of God.” After he had cast down their spirit, mark how again he refreshes it, 
saying, “as ministers of Christ.” Do not thou then, letting go the Master, receive a name 


Homily X 

from the servants and ministers. “Stewards;” saith he, indicating that we ought not to give 
these things unto all, but unto whom it is due, and to whom it is fitting we should minister. 

Ver. 2. “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful:” that is, that 
he do not appropriate to himself his master’s goods, that he do not as a master lay claim for 
himself but administer as a steward. For a steward’s part is to administer well the things 
committed to his charge: not to say that his master’s things are his own; but, on the contrary, 
that his own are his master’s. Let every one think on these things, both he that hath power 
in speech and he that possesses wealth, namely, that he hath been entrusted with a master’s 
goods and that they are not his own; let him not keep them with himself, nor set them down 
to his own account; but let him impute them unto God who gave them all. Wouldest thou 
see faithful stewards? Hear what saith Peter, “Why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by 

r F 7 

our own power or godliness we had made this man to walk?” (Actsiii. 12.) Unto Cornelius 
also he saith, “We also are men of like passions with you:” and unto Christ Himself, “Lo, 
we have left all, and followed Thee.” (St. Matt. xix. 27.) And Paul, no less, when he had said, 
“I labored more abundantly than they all,” (1 Cor. xv. 10.) added, “yet not I, but the grace 
of God which was with me.” Elsewhere also, setting himself strongly against the same persons, 
he said, “For what hast thou which thou didst not receive?” (C. iv. 7.) “For thou hast nothing 
of thine own, neither wealth, nor speech, nor life itself; for this also is surely the Lord’s. 
Wherefore, when necessity calls, do thou lay down this also. But if thou doatest on life, and 
being ordered to lay it down refusest, thou art no longer a faithful steward.” 

“And how is it possible, when God calls, to resist?” Well, that is just what I say too: and 
on this account do I chiefly admire the loving-kindness of God, that the things which He is 
able, even against thy will, to take from thee, these He willeth not to be paid in (dosvexBijvai) 
by thee unwillingly, that thou mayest have a reward besides. For instance, He can take away 
life without thy consent; but His will is to do so with thy consent, that thou mayest say with 
Paul, “I die daily,” ( 1 Cor. xv. 3 1 .) He can take away thy glory without thy consent, and bring 
thee low: but He will have it from thee with thine own goodwill, that thou mayest have a 
recompense. He can make thee poor, though unwilling, but He will have thee willingly be- 
come such, that He may weave crowns for thee. Seest thou God’s mercy to man? Seest thou 
our own brutish stupidity? 

What if thou art come to great dignity, and hast at any time obtained some office of 
Church government? Be not high-minded. Thou hast not acquired the glory, but God hath 
put it on thee. As if it were another’s, therefore, use it sparingly; neither abusing it nor using 
it upon unsuitable things, nor puffed up, nor appropriating it unto thyself; but esteem thyself 

57 These words were addressed by St. Paul and St. Barnabas, to the men of Lystra when they were about to 
offer sacrifices to them. Acts. xiv. 15. [The words of Peter which Chrysostom seems to have had in mind were 
“Stand up, I myself also am a man.” Acts x. 26. — C.] 


Homily X 

to be poor and inglorious. For never, — hadst thou been entrusted with a king’s purple to 
keep, — never would it have become thee to abuse the robe and spoil it, but with the more 
exactness to keep it for the giver. Is utterance given thee? Be not puffed up; be not arrogant; 
for the gracious gift is not thine. Be not grudging about thy Master’s good, but distribute 
them among thy fellow-servants; and neither be thou elated with these things as if they were 
thine own, nor be sparing as to the distribution of them. Again, if thou hast children, they 
are God’s which thou hast. If such be thy thought, thou wilt both be thankful for having 
them, and if bereft thou wilt not take it hard. Such was Job when he said, (Job i. 21) “The 
Lord gave, the Lord hath taken away.” 

For we have all things from Christ. Both existence itself we have through Him, and life, 
and breath, and light, and air, and earth. And if He were to exclude us from any one of these, 
we are lost and undone. For (IS. Pet. ii. 11.) “we are sojourners and pilgrims.” And all this 
about “mine,” and “thine,” is bare words only, and doth not stand for things. For if thou do 
but say the house is thine, it is a word without a reality: since the very air, earth, matter, are 
the Creator’s; and so art thou too thyself, who hast framed it; and all other things also. But 
supposing the use to be thine, even this is uncertain, not on account of death alone, but also 
before death, because of the instability of things. 

[6.] These things then continually picturing to ourselves, let us lead strict lives; and we 
shall gain two of the greatest advantages. For first, we shall be thankful both when we have 
and when we are bereaved; and we shall not be enslaved to things which are fleeting by, and 
things not our own. For whether it be wealth that He taketh, He hath taken but His own; 
or honor, or glory, or the body, or the life itself: be it that He taketh away thy son, it is not 
thy son that He hath taken, but His own servant. For thou formedst him not, but He made 
him. Thou didst but minister to his appearing; the whole was God’s own work. Let us give 
thanks therefore that we have been counted worthy to be His ministers in this matter. But 
what? Wouldest thou have had him for ever? This again proves thee grudging, and ignorant 
that it was another’s child which thou hadst, and not thine own. As therefore those who 
part resignedly are but aware that they have what was not theirs; so whoever gives way to 
grief is in fact counting the King’s property his own. For, if we are not our own, how can 
they be ours? I say, we: for in two ways we are His, both on account of our creation, and 
also on account of the faith. Wherefore David saith, “My substance is with Thee:” (Ps. xxxix. 
7. unooraoic; Sept, “hope” rec. vers. of. ver. 6; Ps. cxxxix. 14.) and Paul too, “For in Him we 
live and move and have our being:” (Acts xvii. 28.) and plying the argument about the faith, 
he says, (1 Cor. vi. 19, 20.) “Ye are not your own,” and “ye were bought with a price.” For 
all things are God’s. When then He calls and chooses to take, let us not, like grudging servants, 
fly from the reckoning, nor purloin our Master’s goods. Thy soul is not thine; and how can 
thy wealth be thine? How is it then that thou spendest on what is unnecessary the things 
which are not thine? Knowest thou not that for this we are soon to be put on our trial, that 


Homily X 

is, if we have used them badly? But seeing that they are not our’s but our Master’s, it were 
right to expend them upon our fellow-servants. It is worth considering that the omission 
of this was the charge brought against that rich man: and against those also who had not 
given food to the Lord. (St. Luke xiv. 21. St. Matt. xxv. 42.) 

[7.] Say not then, “I am but spending mine own, and of mine own I live delicately.” It 
is not of thine own, but of other men’s. Other men’s, I say, because such is thine own choice: 
for God’s will is that those things should be thine, which have been entrusted unto thee on 
behalf of thy brethren. Now the things which are not thine own become thine, if thou spend 
them upon others: but if thou spend on thyself unsparingly, thine own things become no 
longer thine. For since thou usest them cruelly, and sayest, “That my own things should be 
altogether spent on my own enjoyment is fair:” therefore I call them not thine own. For they 
are common to thee and thy fellow-servants; just as the sun is common, the air, the earth, 
and all the rest. For as in the case of the body, each ministration belongs both to the whole 
body and to each several member; but when it is applied to one single member only, it des- 
troys the proper function of that very member: so also it comes to pass in the case of wealth. 
And that what I say may be made plainer; the food of the body which is given in common 
to the members, should it pass into one member, even to that it turns out alien in the end. 
For when it cannot be digested nor afford nourishment, even to that part, I say, it turns out 
alien. But if it be made common, both that part and all the rest have it as their own. 

So also in regard of wealth. If you enjoy it alone, you too have lost it: for you will not 
reap its reward. But if you possess it jointly with the rest, then will it be more your own, and 
then will you reap the benefit of it. Seest thou not that the hands minister, and the mouth 
softens, and the stomach receives? Doth the stomach say, Since I have received, I ought to 
keep it all? Then do not thou I pray, in regard to riches, use this language. For it belongs to 
the receiver to impart. As then it is a vice in the stomach to retain the food and not to dis- 
tribute it, (for it is injurious to the whole body,) so it is a vice in those that are rich to keep 
to themselves what they have. For this destroys both themselves and others. Again, the eye 
receives all the light: but it doth not itself alone retain it, but enlightens the entire body. For 
it is not its nature to keep it to itself, so long as it is an eye. Again, the nostrils are sensible 
of perfume; but they do not keep it all to themselves, but transmit it to the brain, and affect 
the stomach with a sweet savor, and by their means refresh the entire man. The feet alone 
walk; but they move not away themselves only, but transfer also the whole body. In like 
manner do thou, whatsoever thou hast been entrusted withal, keep it not to thyself alone, 
since thou art doing harm to the whole and to thyself more than all. 

And not in the case of the limbs only may one see this occuring: for the smith also, if 
he chose to impart of his craft to no one, ruins both himself and all other crafts. Likewise 
the cordwainer, the husbandman, the baker, and everyone of those who pursue any necessary 


Homily X 

calling; if he chose not to communicate to anyone of the results of his art, will ruin not the 
others only but himself also with them. 

And why do I say, “the rich?” For the poor too, if they followed after the wickedness of 
you who are covetous and rich, would injure you very greatly and soon make you poor; yea 
rather, they would quite destroy you, were they in your want unwilling to impart of their 
own: the tiller of the ground, (for instance,) of the labor of his hands; the sailor, of the gain 
from his voyages; the soldier, of his distinction won in the wars. 

Wherefore if nothing else can, yet let this at least put you to shame, and do you imitate 
their benevolence. Dost thou impart none of thy wealth unto any? Then shouldest thou not 
receive any thing from another: in which case, the world will be turned upside down. For 
in every thing to give and receive is the principle of numerous blessings: in seeds, in scholars, 
in arts. For if any one desire to keep his art to himself, he subverts both himself and the 
whole course of things. And the husbandman, if he bury and keep the seeds in his house, 
will bring about a grievous famine. So also the rich man, if he act thus in regard of his wealth, 
will destroy himself before the poor, heaping up the fire of hell more grievous upon his own 

[8.] Therefore as teachers, however many scholars they have, impart some of their lore 
unto each; so let thy possession be, many to whom thou hast done good. And let all say, 
“such an one he freed from poverty, such an one from dangers. Such an one would have 
perished, had he not, next to the grace of God, enjoyed thy patronage. This man’s disease 
thou didst cure, another thou didst rid of false accusation, another being a stranger you took 
in, another being naked you clothed.” Wealth inexhaustible and many treasures are not so 
good as such sayings. They draw all men’s gaze more powerfully than your golden vestments, 
and horses, and slaves. For these make a man appear even odious: (cpopriKOV, a conj. of 
Saville’s for cpopriKa) they cause him to be hated as a common foe; but the former proclaim 
him as a common father and benefactor. And, what is greatest of all, Favor from God waits 
on thee in every part of thy proceedings. What I mean is, let one man say, He helped to 
portion out my daughter: another, And he afforded my son the means of taking his station 
among men: (dp avSpap epcpavrjvat) another, He made my calamity to cease: another, He 
delivered me from dangers. Better than golden crowns are words such as these, that a man 
should have in his city innumerable persons to proclaim his beneficence. Voices such as 
these are pleasanter far, and sweeter than the voices of the heralds marching before the 
archons; to be called saviour, benefactor, defender, (the very names of God;) and not, cov- 
etous, proud, insatiate, and mean. Let us not, I beseech you, let us not have a fancy for any 
of these titles, but the contrary. For if these, spoken on earth, make one so splendid and il- 
lustrious; when they are written in heaven, and God proclaims them on the day that shall 
come, think what renown, what splendor thou shalt enjoy! Which may it be the lot of us 
all to obtain, through the grace and loving-kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ; with Whom 


Homily X 

unto the Father and the Holy Spirit, be glory, power, honor, now and always and unto 
everlasting ages. Amen. 


Homily XI 

Homily XI. 

1 Cor. iv. 3, 4 

But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea 
I judge not mine own self For I know nothing against myself yet am I not hereby justified: 
but He that judgeth me is the Lord. 

Together with all other ills, I know not how, there hath come upon man’s nature the 
disease of restless prying and of unseasonable curiosity, which Christ Himself chastised, 
saying, (St. Matt. vii. 1.) “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” A kind of thing, which hath no 
pleasure as all other sins have, but only punishment and vengeance. For though we are 
ourselves full of ten thousand evils, and bearing the “beams” in our own eyes, we become 
exact inquisitors of the offences of our neighbor which are not at all bigger than “motes.” 
And so this matter at Corinth was falling out. Religious men and dear to God were ridiculed 
and cast out for their want of learning; while others, brimful of evils innumerable, were 
classed highly because of their fluent speech. Then like persons sitting in public to try causes, 
these were the sort of votes they kept rashly passing: “such an one is worthy: such an one is 
better than such another; this man is inferior to that; that, better than this.” And, leaving 
off to mourn for their own bad ways, they were become judges of others; and in this way 
again were kindling grievous warfare. 

Mark then, how wisely Paul corrects them, doing away with this disease. For since he 
had said, “Moreover, it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful,” and it seemed 
as if he were giving them an opening to judge and pry into each man’s life, and this was ag- 
gravating the party feeling; lest such should be the effect on them, he draws them away from 
that kind of petty disputation, saying, “With me it is a very small thing that I should be 
judged of you;” again in his own person carrying on the discourse. 

[2.] But what means, “With me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you or 
of man’s day?” (qpepap) “I judge myself unworthy,” saith he, “of being judged by you.” 
And why say I, “by you?” I will add, “by (real to [tou]) any one else.” Howbeit, let no one 
condemn Paul of arrogance; though he saith that no man is worthy to pass sentence con 
cerning him. For first, he saith these things not for his own sake, but wishing to rescue 
others from the odium which they had incurred from the Corinthians. And in the next 
place, he limits not the matter to the Corinthians merely, but himself also he deposes from 
this right of judging; saying, that to decree such things was a matter beyond his decision. 
At least he adds, “I judge not mine own self.” 

But besides what has been said, we must search out the ground upon which these expres- 
sions were uttered. For he knew well in many cases how to speak with high spirit: and that, 
not of pride or arrogance, but of a certain excellent management [ohcovopiap apiorqc;] 


Homily XI 

seeing that in the present case also he saith this, not as lifting up himself, but as taking down 
other men’s sails, and earnestly seeking to invest the saints with due honor. For in proof 
that he was one of the very humble, hear what he saith, bringing forward the testimony of 
his enemies on this point; “His bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account; (2 
Cor. x. 10.) and again, “Last of all, as to one born out of due time, He appeared unto me 
also.” (2 Cor. xv. 8.) But notwithstanding, see this lowly man, when the time called on him, 
to what a pitch he raises the spirit of the disciples, not teaching pride but instilling a 
wholesome courage. For with these same discoursing he saith, “And if the world shall be 
judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 1 Cor. vi. 2. For as the 
Christian ought to be far removed from arrogance, so also from flattery and a mean spirit. 
Thus, if any one says, “I count money as nothing, but all things here are to me as a shadow, 
and a dream, and child’s play;” we are not at all to charge him as arrogant; since in this way 
we shall have to accuse Solomon himself of arrogance, for speaking austerely (cpiAoaocpouvra) 
on these things, saying “Vanity of vanities (Eccles. i. 2.) all is vanity.” But God forbid that 
we should call the strict rule of life by the name of arrogance. Wherefore to despise these 
things is not haughtiness, but greatness of soul; albeit we see kings, and rulers, and potentates, 
making much of them. But many a poor man, leading a strict life despises them; and we are 
not therefore to call him arrogant but highminded: just as, on the other hand, if any be ex- 
tremely addicted to them, we do not call him lowly of heart and moderate, but weak, and 
poor spirited, and ignoble. For so, should a son despise the pursuits which become his 
father and affect slavish ways, we should not commend him as lowly of heart, but as base 
and servile we should reproach him. What we should admire in him would be, his despising 
those meaner things and making much account of what came to him from his father. For 
this is arrogance, to think one’s self better than one’s fellow-servants: but to pass the true 
sentence on things cometh not of boasting, but of strictness of life. 

On this account Paul also, not to exalt himself, but to humble others, and to keep down 
those who were rising up out of their places, and to persuade them to be modest, said, “With 
me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you or of man’s day.” Observe how he 
soothes the other party also. For whosoever is told that he looks down on all alike, and deigns 
not to be judged of any one, will not thenceforth any more feel pain, as though himself were 
the only one excluded. For if he had said, “Of you,” only, and so held his peace; this were 
enough to gall them as if treated contemptuously. But now, by introducing, “nor yet of 
man’s day,” he brought alleviation to the blow; giving them partners in the contempt. Nay, 
he even softens this point again, saying, “not even do I judge myself.” Mark the expression, 
how entirely free from arrogance: in that not even he himself, he saith, is capable of so great 

[3.] Then because this saying also seemed to be that of one extolling himself greatly, 
this too he corrects, saying, “Yet am I not hereby justified.” What then? Ought we not to 


Homily XI 

judge ourselves and our own misdeeds? Yes surely: there is great need to do this when we 
sin. But Paul said not this, “For I know nothing,” saith he, “against myself.” What misdeed 
then was he to judge, when he “knew nothing against himself?” Yet, saith he, “he was not 
justified.” (1 Cor. vi. 3.) We then who have our conscience filled with ten thousand wounds, 
and are conscious to ourselves of nothing good, but quite the contrary; what can we say? 

And how could it be, if he knew nothing against himself that he was not justified? Because 
it was possible for him to have committed certain sins, not however, knowing that they were 
sins. From this make thine estimate how great shall be the strictness of the future judgment. 
It is not, you see, as considering himself unblameable that he saith it is so unmeet for him 
to be judged by them, but to stop the mouths of those who were doing so unreasonably. At 
least in another place, even though men’s sins be notorious, he permits not judgment unto 
others, because the occasion required it. “For why dost thou judge thy brother,” saith he, 
(Rom. xiv. 10.) or, “thou, why dost thou set at nought thy brother?” For thou wert not en- 
joined, O man, to judge others, but to test thine own doings. Why then dost thou seize upon 
the office of the Lord? Judgment is His, not thine. 

To which effect, he adds, “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come; 
who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and make manifest the counsels 
of the hearts, and then shall each man have his praise from God.” What then? Is it not right 
that our teachers should do this? It is right in the case of open and confessed sins, and that 
with fitting opportunity, and even then with pain and inward vexation: not as these were 
acting at that time, of vain-glory and arrogance. For neither in this instance is he speaking 
of those sins which all own to be such, but about preferring one before another, and making 
comparisons of modes of life. For these things He alone knows how to judge with accuracy, 
who is to judge our secret doings, which of these be worthy of greater and which of less 
punishment and honor. But we do all this according to what meets our eye. “For if in mine 
own errors,” saith he, “I know nothing clearly, how can I be worthy to pass sentence on 
other men? And how shall I who know not my own case with accuracy, be able to judge the 
state of others?” Now if Paul felt this, much more we. For (to proceed) he spake these things, 
not to exhibit himself as faultless, but to shew that even should there be among them some 
such person, free from transgression, not even he would be worthy to judge the lives of 
others: and that if he, though conscious to himself of nothing declare himself guilty, much 
more they who have ten thousand sins to be conscious of in themselves. 

[4.] Having thus, you see, stopped the mouths of those who pass such sentences, he 
travails next with strong feeling ready to break out and come upon the unclean person. And 
like as when a storm is coming on, some clouds fraught with darkness run before it; after- 
wards, when the crash of the thunders ariseth and works the whole heavens into one black 
cloud, then all at once the rain bursts down upon the earth: so also did it then happen. For 
though he might in deep indignation have dealt with the fornicator, he doth not so; but with 


Homily XI 

fearful words he first represses the swelling pride of the man, since in truth, what had oc- 
curred was a twofold sin, fornication, and, that which is worse than fornication, the not 
grieving over the sin committed. For not so much does he bewail the sin, as him that com- 
mitted it and did not as yet repent. Thus, “I shall bewail many of those,” saith he, not simply 
“who have sinned heretofore,” but he adds, “who have not repented of the uncleanness and 
impurity which they wrought.” (2 Cor. xii. 21.) For he who after sinning hath practised re- 
pentance, is a worthy object not of grief but of gratulations, having passed over into the 
choir of the righteous. For, (Is. xliii. 26.) “declare thou thine iniquities first, that thoumayest 
be justified:” but if after sinning one is void of shame, he is not so much to be pitied for 
falling as for lying where he is fallen. 

Now if it be a grievous fault not to repent after sins; to be puffed up because of sins, 
what sort of punishment doth it deserve? For if he who is elate for his good deeds is unclean, 
what pardon shall he meet with who has that feeling with regard to his sins? 

Since then the fornicator was of this sort, and had rendered his mind so headstrong and 
unyielding through his sin, he of course begins by casting down his pride. And he neither 
puts the charge first, for fear of making him hardened, as singled out for accusation before 
the rest; nor yet later, lest he should suppose that what related to him was but incidental. 
But, having first excited great alarm in him by his plain speaking towards others, then, and 
not till then, he goes on to him, in the course of his rebuke to others giving the man’s wilful- 
ness a share beforehand. 

For these same words, viz. “I know nothing against myself, yet am I not hereby justified,” 
and this, “He that judgeth me is the Lord, who will both bring to light the hidden things of 
darkness, and make manifest the counsels of the hearts,” glance not lightly both upon that 
person, and upon such as act in concert with him and despise the saints. “For what,” saith 
he, “if any outwardly appear to be virtuous and admirable persons? He, the Judge, is not a 
discerner of externals only, but also brings to light all secrets.” 

[5.] On two accounts you see, or rather on three, correct judgement belongs not to us. 
One, because, though we be conscious to ourselves of nothing, still we need one to reprove 
our sins with strictness. Another, because the most part of the things which are done escape 
us and are concealed. And for a third besides these, because many things which are done 
by others seem to us indeed fair, but they come not of a right mind. Why say ye then, that 
no sin hath been committed by this or that person? That such an one is better than such 
another? Seeing that this we are not to pronounce, not even concerning him who knows 
nothing against himself. For He who discerns secrets, He it is who with certainty judges. 
Behold, for example; I for my part know nothing against myself: yet neither so am I justified, 
that is, I am not quit of accounts to be given, nor of charges to be answered. For he doth 
not say this, “I rank not among the righteous;” but “I am not pure from sin.” For elsewhere 


Homily XI 

he saith also, (Rom. vi. 7, SsSikcuojtcu, rourecmv aTtfjAAaKrat.) “He that hath died is justified 
from sin,” that is, “is liberated.” 

Again, many things we do, good indeed, but not of a right mind. For so we commend 
many, not from a wish to render them conspicuous, but to wound others by means of them. 
And the thing done indeed is right for the well-doer is praised; but the intention is corrupt: 
for it is done of a satanical purpose. For this one hath often done, not rejoicing with his 
brother, but desiring to wound the other party. 

Again, a man hath committed a great error; some other person, wishing to supplant 
him, says that he hath done nothing, and comforts him forsooth in his error by recurring 
to the common frailty of nature. But oftentimes he doth this from no mind to sympathize, 
but to make him more easy in his faults. 

Again, a man rebukes oftentimes not so much to reprove and admonish, as publicly to 
(sKUopnsuoai real eKrpaycoSfjoai) display and exaggerate his neighbor’s sin. Our counsels 
however themselves men do not know; but, (Rom. viii. 27.) “He that searcheth the hearts,” 
knows them perfectly; and He will bring all such things into view at that time. Wherefore 
he saith, “Who will bring to light the secret things of darkness and make manifest the 
counsels of the hearts.” 

[6.] Seeing then that not even where we “know nothing against ourselves,” can we be 
clean from accusations, and where we do any thing good, but do it not of a right mind, we 
are liable to punishment; consider how vastly men are deceived in their judgments. For all 
these matters are not be come at by men, but by the unsleeping Eye alone: and though we 
may deceive men, our sophistry will never avail against Him. Say not then, darkness is 
around me and walls; who seeth me? For He who by Himself formed our hearts, Himself 
knoweth all things. (Ps. cxxxix. 12.) “For darkness is no darkness with Him.” And yet he 
who is committing sin, well saith, “Darkness is around me and walls;” for were there not a 
darkness in his mind he would not have cast out the fear of God and acted as he pleased. 
For unless the ruling principle be first darkened, the entrance of sin without fear is a thing 
impossible. Say not then, who seeth me? For there is that (Heb. iv. 12.) “pierceth even unto 
soul and spirit, joints and marrow;” but thou seest not thyself nor canst thou pierce the 
cloud; but as if thou hadst a wall on all sides surrounding thee, thou art without power to 
look up unto the heaven. 

For whatsoever sin thou wilt, first let us examine, and thou shalt see that so it is en- 
gendered. For as robbers and they who dig through walls when they desire to carry off any 
valuable thing, put out the candle and then do their work; so also doth men’s perverse 
reasoning in the case of those who are committing sin. Since in us also surely there is a light, 
the light of reason, ever burning. But if the spirit of wickedness coming eagerly on with its 
strong blast quench that flame, it straightway darkens the soul and prevails against it, and 
despoils it straightway of all that is laid up therein. For when by unclean desire the soul is 


Homily XI 

made captive, even as a cloud and mist the eyes of the body, so that desire intercepts the 
foresight of the mind, and suffers it to see nothing at any distance, either precipice, or hell, 
or fear; but thenceforth, having that deceit as a tyrant over him, he comes to be easily van- 
quished by sin; and there is raised up before his eyes as it were a wall without windows, 
which suffers not the ray of righteousness to shine in upon the mind, the absurd conceits 
of lust enclosing it as with a rampart on all sides. And from that time forward the unchaste 
woman is everywhere meeting him: standing present before his eyes, before his mind, before 
his thoughts. And as the blind, although they stand at high noon beneath the very central 
point of the heaven, receive not the light, their eyes being fast closed up; just so these also, 
though ten thousand doctrines of salvation sound in their ears from all quarters, having 
their soul preoccupied with this passion stop their ears against such discourses. And they 
know it well who have made the trial. But God forbid that you should know it from actual 

[7.] And not only this sin hath these effects, but every misplaced affection as well. For 
let us transfer, if you please, the argument from the unchaste woman unto money, and we 
shall see here also thick and unbroken darkness. For in the former case, inasmuch as the 
beloved object is one and shut up in one place, the feeling is not so violent; but in the case 
of money which sheweth itself every where, in silversmiths’ shops, in taverns, in foundries 
for gold, in the houses of the wealthy, the passion blows a vehement gale. For when servants 
swaggering in the market place, horses with golden trappings, men decked with costly gar- 
ments, are seen with desire by him who has that distemper, the darkness becomes intense 
which envelopes him. And why speak of houses and silversmiths’ shops? for my part I think 
that such persons, though it be but in a picture and image that they see the wealth, are con- 
vulsed, and grow wild, and rave. So that from all quarters the darkness gathers around them. 
And if they chance to behold a portraiture of a King, they admire not the beauty of the 
precious stones, nor yet the gold, nor the purple robe, but they pine away. And as the 
wretched lover before mentioned, though he see but the image of the woman beloved, 
cleaveth unto the lifeless thing; so this man also, beholding a lifeless image of wealth, is more 
strongly affected in the same way, as being holden of a more tyrannical passion. And he 
must henceforth either abide at home, or if he venture into the Forum, return home with 
innumerable hurts. For many are the objects which grieve his eyes. And just as the former 
seeth nothing else save the woman, even so the latter hastens by poor persons, and all things 
else, that he may not obtain so much as a slight alleviation. But upon the wealthy he steadily 
fixeth his eyes; by the sight of them introducing the fire into his own soul mightily and 
vehemently. For it is a fire that miserably devours the person that falls into it; and if no hell 
were threatened nor yet punishment, this condition were itself punishment; to be continually 
tormented and never able to find an end to the malady. 


Homily XI 

[8.] Well: these things alone might suffice to recommend our fleeing from this distemper. 
But there is no greater evil than inconsideration which causes men to be rivetted unto things 
that bring sorrow of heart and no advantage. Wherefore I exhort that you cut off the passion 
at its beginning: for just as a fever on its first attack, does not violently burn up the patients 
with thirst, but on its increase and the heightening of its fire causes from that time incurable 
thirst; and though one should let them fill themselves full of drink, it puts not out the furnace 
but makes it burn fiercer: so also it happens in regard to this passion; unless when it first 
invadeth our soul we stop it and shut the doors; having got in, from that time it makes the 
disease of those who have admitted it incurable. For so both good things and bad, the longer 
they abide in us, the more powerful they become. 

And in all other things too, any one may see that this cometh to pass. For so a plant but 
lately set in the ground is easily pulled up; but no more so when rooted for a long time; it 
then requires great strength in the lever. And a building newly put together is easily thrown 
down by those who push against it; but once well fixed, it gives great trouble to those who 
attempt to pull it down. And a wild beast that hath made his accustomed haunt in certain 
places for a long time is with difficulty driven away. 

Those therefore who are not yet possessed by the passion in question, I exhort not to 
be taken captive. For it is more easy to guard against falling into it, than having fallen to get 

[9.] But unto those who are seized by it and broken down, if they will consent to put 
themselves into the hands of the Word of healing, I promise large hope of salvation, by the 
Grace of God. For if they will consider those who have suffered and fallen into that distemper 
and have recovered, they will have good hopes respecting the removal of the disease. Who 
then ever fell into this disease, and was easily rid of it? That well-known Zacchaeus. For who 
could be more fond of money than a publican? But all at once he became a man of strict 
life, (OiAooocpoc;) and put out all that blaze. Matthew in like manner: for he too was a pub- 
lican, living in continual rapine. But he likewise all at once stripped himself of the mischief, 
and quenched his thirst, and followed after spiritual gain. Considering therefore these, and 
the like to them, despair not even thou. For if thou wilt, quickly thou shaft be able to recover. 
And if you please, according to the rule of physicians, we will prescribe accurately what thou 
shouldest do. 

It is necessary then, before all other things, to be right in this, that we never despond, 
nor despair of our salvation. Next, we must look not only upon the examples of those who 
have done well, but also upon the sufferings of those who have persisted in sin. For as we 
have considered Zacchaeus, and Matthew, even so ought we also to take account of Judas, 
and Gehazi, and Ahar, [perhaps Achan, Josh, vii.] and Ahab, and Ananias, and Sapphira, 
in order that by the one, we may cast out all despair, and by the other cut off all indolence; 
and that the soul become not reckless of the remedies suggested. And let us teach them of 


Homily XI 

themselves to say what the Jews said on that day, approaching unto Peter, (Acts ii. 37, cf. 
xvi. 30.) “What must we do to be saved?” And let them hear what they must do. 

[10.] What then must we do? We must know how worthless the things in question are, 
and that wealth is a run-away slave, and heartless, and encompasseth its possessors with ills 
innumerable. And such words, like charms, let us sound in their ears continually. And as 
physicians soothe their patients when they ask for cold water, by saying that they will give 
it, making excuses about the spring, and the vessel, and the fit time, and many more such, 
(for should they refuse at once, they make them wild with phrensy,) so let us also act towards 
the lovers of money. When they say we desire to be rich, let us not say immediately that 
wealth is an evil thing; but let us assent, and say that we also desire it; but in due time; yea, 
true wealth; yea, that which hath undying pleasure: yea, that which is gathered for thyself, 
and not for others, and those often our enemies. And let us produce the lessons of true 
wisdom, and say, we forbid not riches, but ill-gotten riches. For it is lawful to be rich, but 
without covetousness, without rapine and violence, and an ill report from all men. With 
these arguments let us first smooth them down, and not as yet discourse of hell. For the sick 
man endures not yet such sayings. Wherefore let us go to this world for all our arguments 
upon these matters; and say, “Why is it thy choice to be rich through covetousness? That 
the gold and the silver may be laid up for others, but for thee, curses and accusations innu- 
merable? That he whom you have defrauded may be stung by want of the very necessaries 
of life, and bewail himself, and draw down upon thee the censure of thousands; and may 
go at fall of evening about the market place, encountering every one in the alleys, and in 
utter perplexity, and not knowing what to trust to even for that one night? For how is he to 
sleep after all, with pangs of the belly, restless famine besetting him, and that often while it 
is freezing, and the rain coming down on him? And while thou, having washed, returnest 
home from the bath, in a glow with soft raiment, merry of heart and rejoicing, and hastening 
unto a banquet prepared and costly: he, driven every where about the market place by cold 
and hunger, takes his round, stooping low and stretching out his hands; nor hath he even 
spirit without trembling to make his suit for his necessary food to one so full fed and so bent 
on taking his ease; nay, often he has to retire with insult. When therefore thou hast returned 
home, when thou best down on thy couch, when the lights round thine house shine bright, 
when the table is prepared and plentiful, at that time call to rememberance that poor 
miserable man wandering about, like the dogs in the alleys, in darkness and in mire; except 
indeed when, as is often the case, he has to depart thence, not unto house, nor wife, nor bed, 
but unto a pallet of straw; even as we see the dogs baying all through the night. And thou, 
if thou seest but a little drop falling from the roof, throwest the whole house into confusion, 
calling thy slaves and disturbing every thing: while he, laid in rags, and straw, and dirt, has 
to bear all the cold. 


Homily XI 

What wild beast would not be softened by these things? Who is there so savage and in- 
human that these things should not make him mild? and yet there are some who are arrived 
at such a pitch of cruelty as even to say that they deserve what they suffer. Yea, when they 
ought to pity, and weep, and help to alleviate men’s calamities, they on the contrary visit 
them with savage and inhuman censures. Of these I should be glad to ask, Tell me, why do 
they deserve what they suffer? Is it because they would be fed and not starve? 

No, you will reply; but because they would be fed in idleness. And thou, dost not thou 
wanton in idleness? What say I? Art thou not oft-times toiling in an occupation more 
grievous than any idleness, grasping, and oppressing, and coveting? Better were it if thou 
too wert idle after this sort; for it is better to be idle in this way, than to be covetous. But 
now thou even tramplest on the calamities of others, not only idling, not only pursuing an 
occupation worse than idleness, but also maligning those who spend their days in misery. 

And let us farther narrate to them the disasters of others; the untimely bereavements, 
the dwellers in prison, those who are torn to pieces before tribunals, those who are trembling 
for life; the unlooked for widowhood of women; the sudden reverse of the rich: and with 
this let us soften their minds. For by our narrations concerning others, we shall induce them 
by all means to fear these evils in their own case too. For when they hear that the son of such 
an one who was a covetous and grasping man, or (p rou SeTvoc; instead of pv; rou SeTvoc;) 
the wife of such an one who did many tyrannical actions, after the death of her husband 
endured afflictions without end; the injured persons setting upon the wife and the children, 
and a general war being raised from all quarters against his house; although a man be the 
most senseless of beings, yet expecting himself also to suffer the same, and fearing for his 
own lest they undergo the same fate, he will become more moderate. Now we find life full 
of many such histories, and we shall not be at a loss for correctives of this kind. 

But when we speak these things, let us not speak them as giving advice or counsel, lest 
our discourse become too irksome: but as in the order of the narrative and by association 
with something else, let us proceed in each case unto that kind of conversation, and let us 
be constantly putting them upon stories of the kind, permitting them to speak of no subject 
except these which follow: How such an one’s splendid and famous mansion fell down; How 
it is so entirely desolate that all things that were in it have come into the hands of others; 
How many trials have taken place daily about this same property, what a stir; How many 
of that man’s relations (o’lKerai, probably oncsTot) have died either beggars, or inhabitants 
of a prison. 

All these things let us speak as in pity for the deceased, and as depreciating things present; 
in order that by fear and by pity we may soften the cruel mind. And when we see men 
shrinking into themselves at these narrations, then and not till then let us introduce to their 
notice also the doctrine of hell, not as terrifying these, but in compassion for others. And 
let us say, But why speak of things present? For far, indeed, will our concern be from ending 


Homily XI 

with these; a yet more grievous punishment will await all such persons: even a river of fire, 
and a poisonous worm, and darkness interminable, and undying tortures. If with such ad- 
dresses we succeed in throwing a spell over them, we shall correct both ourselves and them, 
and quickly get the better of our infirmity. 

And on that day we shall have God to praise us: as also Paul saith, “And then shall each 
man have praise from God.” For that which cometh from men, is both fleeting, and some- 
times it proceeds from no good intentions. But that which cometh from God both abideth 
continually, and shines out clearly. For when He who knew all things before their creation, 
and who is free from all passion, gives praise, then also the demonstration of our virtue is 
even unquestionable. 

Knowing these things therefore, let us act so as to be praised of God, and to acquire the 
greatest blessings; which God grant us all to obtain, through the grace and loving-kindness 
of our Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom to the Father and the Holy Spirit be glory, power, 
honor, now and always, and unto all the ages of eternity. Amen. 


Homily XII 

Homily XII. 

1 Cor. iv. 6 

Now these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes; 


that in us ye might learn not to think of men above that which is written. 

So long as there was need of expressions as harsh as these, he refrained from drawing 
up the curtain, and went on arguing as if he were himself the person to whom they were 
addressed; in order that the dignity of the persons censured tending to counteract the cen- 
surers, no room might be left for flying out in wrath at the charges. But when the time came 
for a gentler process, then he strips it off, and removes the mask, and shows the persons 
concealed by the appellation of Paul and Apollos. And on this account he said, “These things, 
brethren, I have transferred in a figure unto myself and Apollos.” 

And as in the case of the sick, when the child being out of health kicks and turns away 
from the food offered by the physicians, the attendants call the father or the tutor, and bid 
them take the food from the physician’s hands and bring it, so that out of fear towards them 
he may take it and be quiet: so also Paul, intending to censure them about certain other 
persons, of whom some, he thought, were injured, others honored above measure, did not 
set down the persons themselves, but conducted the argument in his own name and that of 
Apollos, in order that reverencing these they might receive his mode of cure. But that once 
received, he presently makes known in whose behalf he was so expressing himself. 

Now this was not hypocrisy, but condescension (auYKard(3aatc;) and tact (obcovopfa). 
For if he had said openly, “As for you, the men whom ye are judging are saints, and worthy 
of all admiration;” they might have taken it ill and (kcxv dtt£Tif|5r|ciav) started back. But now 
in saying, “But to me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you:” and again, “Who 
is Paul, and who is Apollos?” he rendered his speech easy of reception. 

This, if you mark it, is the reason why he says here, “These things have I transferred in 
a figure unto myself for your sakes, that in us ye may learn not to be wise above what is 
written,” signifying that if he had applied his argument in their persons, they would not 
have learnt all that they needed to learn, nor would have admitted the correction, being 
vexed at what was said. But as it was, revering Paul, they bore the rebuke well. 

[2.] But what is the meaning of, “not to be wise above what is written?” It is written, (St. 
Matt. vii. 3.) “Why beh oldest thou the mote that is in thy broth ers’s eye, but considerest not 
the beam that is in thine own eye?” and “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” For if we are one 
and are mutually bound together, it behooveth us not to rise up against one another. For 

58 [The true text of this clause is well given in the Revised Version, “not to go beyond the things which are 


Homily XII 

“he that humbleth himself shall be exalted,” saith he. And (St. Matt. xx. 26, 27; St. Mark x. 
43; not verbatim.) “He that will be first of all, let him be the servant of all.” These are the 
things which “are written.” 

“That no one of you be puffed up for one against another.” Again, having dismissed the 
teachers, he rebukes the disciples. For it was they who caused the former to be elated. 

And besides, the leaders would not quietly receive that kind of speech because of their 
desire of outward glory: for they were even blinded with that passion. Whereas the disciples, 
as not reaping themselves the fruits of the glory, but procuring it for others, would both 
endure the chiding with more temper, and had it more in their power than the leading men 
to destroy the disease. 

It seems then, that this also is a symptom of being “puffed up,” to be elated on another’s 
account, even though a man have no such feeling in regard of what is his own. For as he 
who is proud of another’s wealth, is so out of arrogance; so also in the case of another’s 

And he hath well called it “being puffed up.” For when one particular member rises up 
over the rest, it is nothing else but inflammation and disease; since in no other way doth 
one member become higher than another, except when a swelling takes place. (So in English 
“proud flesh.”) And so in the body of the Church also; whoever is inflamed and puffed up, 
he must be the diseased one; for he is swollen above the proportion of the rest. For this 
[disproportion] is what we mean by “swelling.” And so comes it to pass in the body, when 
some spurious and evil humor gathers, instead of the wonted nourishment. So also arrogance 
is born; notions to which we have no right coming over us. And mark with what literal 
propriety he saith, be not “puffed up:” for that which is puffed up hath a certain tumor of 
spirit, from being filled with corrupt humor. 

These things, however, he saith, not to preclude all soothing, but such soothing as leads 
to harm. “Wouldest thou wait upon this or that person? I forbid thee not: but do it not to 
the injury of another.” For not that we might array ourselves one against another were 
teachers given us, but that we might all be mutually united. For so the general to this end is 
set over the host, that of those who are separate he may make one body. But if he is to break 
up the army, he stands in the place of an enemy rather than of a general. 

[3.] Ver. 7. “For who maketh thee to differ? For what hast thou which thou didst not 

From this point, dismissing the governed, he turns to the governors. What he saith 
comes to this: From whence is evident that thou art worthy of being praised? Why, hath 
any judgment taken place? any inquiry proceeded? any essay? any severe testing? Nay, thou 
canst not say it: and if men give their votes, their judgment is not upright. But let us suppose 
that thou really art worthy of praise and hast indeed the gracious gift, and that the judgment 
of men is not corrupt: yet not even in this case were it right to be high-minded; for thou 


Homily XII 

hast nothing of thyself but from God didst receive it. Why then dost thou pretend to have 
that which thou hast not? Thou wilt say, “thou hast it:” and others have it with thee: well 
then, thou hast it upon receiving it: not merely this thing or that, but all things whatsoever 
thou hast. 

For not to thee belong these excellencies, but to the grace of God. Whether you name 
faith, it came of His calling; or whether it be the forgiveness of sins which you speak of, or 
spiritual gifts, or the word of teaching, or the miracles; thou didst receive all from thence. 
Now what hast thou, tell me, which thou hast not received, but hast rather achieved of thine 
own self? Thou hast nothing to say. Well: thou hast received; and does that make thee high- 
minded? Nay, it ought to make thee shrink back into thyself. For it is not thine, what hath 
been given, but the giver’s. What if thou didst receive it? thou receivedst it of him. And if 
thou receivedst of him, it was not thine which thou receivedst: and if thou didst but receive 
what was not thine own, why art thou exalted as if thou hadst something of thine own? 
Wherefore he added also, “Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst 
not received it? 

[4.] Thus having, you see, made good his argument by concession, 59 (Kara auvSpopqv.) 
he indicates that they have their deficiencies; and those not a few: and saith, “In the first 
place, though ye had received all things, it were not meet to glory, for nothing is your own; 
but as the case really stands there are many things of which ye are destitute.” And in the 
beginning he did but hint at this, saying, “I could not speak unto you as unto spiritual:” and, 
“I determined to know nothing among you, save Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” But here 
he doth it in a way to abash them, saying, 

Ver. 8. “Already ye are filled, already ye are rich:” that is, ye want nothing henceforth; 
ye are become perfect; ye have attained the very summit; ye stand, as ye think, in need of 
no one, either among Apostles or teachers. 

“Already ye are filled.” And well saith he “already;” pointing out, from the time, the in- 
credibility of their statements and their unreasonable notion of themselves. It was therefore 
in mockery that he said to them, “So quickly have ye come to the end;” which thing was 
impossible in the time: for all the more perfect things wait long in futurity: but to be “full” 
with a little betokens a feeble soul; and from a little to imagine one’s self “rich,” a sick and 
miserable one. For piety is an insatiable thing; and it argues a childish mind to imagine from 
just the beginnings that you have obtained the whole: and for men who are not yet even in 
the prelude of a matter, to be high-minded as if they had laid hold of the end. 

59 [That is, conceding that they had the gifts which they claimed. C.] 


Homily XII 

Then also by means of what followeth he puts them yet more out of countenance; for 
having said, “Already ye are full,” he added, “ye are become rich, ye have reigned without 
us: yea and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you.” Full of great 
austerity is the speech: which is why it comes last, being introduced by him after that 
abundance of reproof. For then is our admonition respected and easily received, when after 
our accusations we introduce our humiliating expressions, (ra surpeimKa pfjpara.) For 
this were enough to repress even the shameless soul and strike it more sharply than direct 
accusation, and correct the bitterness and hardened feeling likely to arise from the charge 
brought. It being certain that this more than anything else is the admirable quality of those 
arguments which appeal to our sense of shame, that they possess two contrary advantages. 
On the one hand, one cuts deeper than by open invective: on the other hand, it causes the 
person reprimanded to bear that severer stab with more entire patience. 

[5.] “Ye have reigned without us.” Herein there is great force, as concerns both the 
teachers and the disciples: and their ignorance, too, of themselves (to aouveiSqrov.) is 
pointed out, and their great inconsideration. For what he saith is this: “In labors indeed,” 
saith he, “all things are common both to us and to you, but in the rewards and the crowns 
ye are first. Not that I say this in vexation:” wherefore he added also, “I would indeed that 
ye did reign:” then, lest there should seem to be some irony, he added, “that we also might 
reign with you;” for, saith he, we also should be in possession (cjuTUXOipev, ms. Reg., 
ettiTUXcnpev Edd.) of these blessings. Dost thou see how he shews in himself all at once his 
severity and his care over them and his self-denying mind? Dost thou see how he takes down 
their pride? 

Ver. 9. “For I think that God hath set forth us the Apostles last of all, as men doomed 
to death.” 

There is great depth of meaning and severity implied again in his saying, “us:” and not 
even with this was he satisfied, but added also his dignity, hitting them vehemently: “us the 
Apostles;” who are enduring such innumerable ills; who are sowing the word of Godliness; 
who are leading you unto this severe rule of life. These “He hath set forth last, as doomed 
to death,” that is, as condemned. For since he had said, “That we also might reign with you,” 
and by that expression had relaxed his vehemency in order not to dispirit them; he takes it 
up again with greater gravity, and saith, “For I think that God hath set forth us the Apostles 
last, as men doomed to death.” “For according to what I see,” saith he, “and from what ye 
say, the most abject of all men and emphatically the condemned, are we who are put forward 
for continual suffering. But ye have already a kingdom and honors and great rewards in 
your fancy.” And wishing to carry out their reasoning to still greater absurdity, and to exhibit 
it as incredible in the highest degree, he said not merely, “We are ‘last,’” but, “God made us 
last;” nor was he satisfied with saying, “last,” but he added also, “doomed to death:” to the 


Homily XII 

end that even one quite void of understanding might feel the statement to be quite incredible, 
and his words to be the words of one vexed and vehemently abashing them. 

Observe too the good sense of Paul. The topics by which, when it is the proper time, he 
exalts and shews himself honorable and makes himself great; by these he now puts them to 
shame, calling himself “condemned.” Of so great consequence is it to do all things at the 
befitting season. By “doomed to death,” in this place he means “condemned,” and deserving 
of ten thousand deaths. 

[6.] “For we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.” 

What means, “We are become a spectacle unto the world?” “Not in a single corner nor 
yet in a small part of the world suffer we these things,” saith he; “but every where and before 
all.” But what means, “unto angels?” It is possible to “become a spectacle unto men,” but 
not so unto angels, when the things done are ordinary. But our wrestlings are such as to be 
worthy even of angelic contemplation. Behold from the things by which he vilifies himself, 
how again he shows himself great; and from the things about which they are proud, how 
he displays their meanness. For since to be fools was accounted a meaner thing than to appear 
wise; to be weak, than to be made strong; and unhonored, than glorious and distinguished; 
and that he is about to cast on them the one set of epithets, while he himself accepted the 
other; he signifies that the latter are better than the former; if at least because of them he 
turned the throng I say not of men only, but also of the very angels unto the contemplation 
of themselves. For not with men only is our wrestling but also with incorporeal powers. 
Therefore also a mighty theatre is set (peya Bearpov KCtBqrai.) 

Ver. 10. “We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ.” 

Again, this also he spake in a way to abash them; implying that it is impossible for these 
contraries to agree, neither can things so distant from one another concur. “For how can it 
be,” saith he, “that you should be wise, but we fools in the things relating to Christ?” That 
is: the one sort beaten and despised and dishonored and esteemed as nothing; the others 
enjoying honor and looked up to by many as a wise and prudent kind of people; it gives 
him occasion to speak thus: as if he had said, “How can it be that they who preach such 
things should be looked upon as practically engaged in their contraries?” 

“We are weak, but ye are strong.” That is, we are driven about and persecuted; but ye 
enjoy security and are much waited upon; howbeit the nature of the Gospel endureth it not. 

“We are despised, but ye are honorable.” Here he setteth himself against the noble and 
those who plumed themselves upon external advantages. 

“Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, 
and have no certain dwelling place; and we toil, working with our own hands.” That is, “It 
is not an old story that I am telling but just what the very time present bears me witness of: 
that of human things we take no account nor yet of any outward pomp; but we look unto 


Homily XII 

God only.” Which thing we too have need to practice in every place. For not only are angels 
looking on, but even more than they He that presides over the spectacle. 

[7.] Let us not then desire any others to applaud us. For this is to insult Him; hastening 
by Him, as if insufficient to admire us, we make the best of our way to our fellow servants. 
For just as they who contend in a small theatre seek a large one, as if this were insufficient 
for their display; so also do they, who contending in the sight of God afterwards seek the 
applause of men; giving up the greater praise and eager for the less, they draw upon them- 
selves severe punishment. What but this hath turned every thing upside down? this puts 
the whole world into confusion, that we do all things with an eye to men, and even for our 
good things, we esteem it nothing to have God as an admirer, but seek the approbation 
which cometh from our fellow-servants: and for the contrary things again, despising Him 
we fear men. And yet surely they shall stand with us before that tribunal, doing us no good. 
But God whom we despise now shall Himself pass the sentence upon us. 

But yet, though we know these things, we still gape after men, which is the first of sins. 
Thus were a man looking on no one would choose to commit fornication; but even though 
he be ten thousand times on fire with that plague, the tyranny of the passion is conquered 
by his reverence for men. But in God’s sight men not only commit adultery and fornication; 
but other things also much more dreadful many have dared and still dare to do. This then 
alone, is it not enough to bring down from above ten thousand thunderbolts? Adulteries, 
did I say, and fornications? Nay, things even far less than these we fear to do before men: 
but in God’s sight we fear no longer. From hence, in fact, all the world’s evils have originated; 
because in things really bad we reverence not God but men. 

On this account, you see, both things which are truly good, not accounted such by the 
generality, become objects of our aversion, we not investigating the nature of the things, 
but having respect unto the opinion of the many: and again, in the case of evil things, acting 
on this same principle. Certain things therefore not really good, but seeming fair unto the 
many, we pursue, as goods, through the same habit. So that on either side we go to destruc- 

[8.] Perhaps many may find this remark somewhat obscure. Wherefore we must express 
it more clearly. When we commit uncleanness, (for we must begin from the instances alleged,) 
we fear men more than God. When therefore we have thus subjected ourselves unto them 
and made them lords over us; there are many other things also which seem unto these our 
lords to be evil, not being such; these also we flee for our part in like manner. For instance; 
To live in poverty, many account disgraceful: and we flee poverty, not because it is disgraceful 
nor because we are so persuaded, but because our masters count it disgraceful; and we fear 
them. Again, to be unhonored and contemptible, and void of all authority seems likewise 
unto the most part a matter of great shame and vileness. This again we flee; not condemning 
the thing itself, but because of the sentence of our masters. 


Homily XII 

Again on the contrary side also we undergo the same mischief. As wealth is counted a 
good thing, and pride, and pomp, and to be conspicuous. Accordingly this again we pursue, 
not either in this case from considering the nature of the things as good, but persuaded by 
the opinion of our masters. For the people is our master and the great mob (6 ttoAuc; oxAoq); 
a savage master and a severe tyrant: not so much as a command being needed in order to 
make us listen to him; it is enough that we just know what he wills, and without a command 
we submit: so great good will do we bear towards him. Again, God threatening and admon- 
ishing day by day is not heard; but the common people, full of disorder, made up of all 
manner of dregs, has no occasion for one word of command; enough for it only to signify 
with what it is well pleased, and in all things we obey immediately. 

[9.] “But how,” says some one, “is a man to flee from these masters?” By getting a mind 
greater than their’s; by looking into the nature of things; by condemning the voice of the 
multitude; before all, by training himself in things really disgraceful to fear not men, but 
the unsleeping Eye; and again, in all good things, to seek the crowns which come from Him. 
For thus neither in other sort of things shall we be able to tolerate them. For whoso when 
he doeth right judges them unworthy to know his good deeds, and contents himself with 
the suffrage of God; neither will he take account of them in matters of the contrary sort. 

“And how can this be?” you will say. Consider what man is, what God; whom thou 
desertest, and unto whom thou fliest for refuge; and thou wilt soon be right altogether. Man 
lieth under the same sin as thyself, and the same condemnation, and the same punishment. 
“Man is like to vanity,” (Ps. cxliv. 4. LXX,) and hath not correct judgment, and needs the 
correction from above. “Man is dust and ashes,” and if he bestow praise, he will often bestow 
it at random, or out of favor, or ill will. And if he calumniate and accuse, this again will he 
do out of the same kind of purpose. But God doeth not so: rather irreprovable in His sentence, 
and pure His judgment. Wherefore we must always flee to Him for refuge; and not for these 
reasons alone, but because He both made, and more than all spares thee, and loves thee 
better than thou dost thyself. 

Why then, neglecting to have so admirable (Gaupacrrov) an approver, betake we ourselves 
unto man, who is nothing, all rashness, all at random? Doth he call thee wicked and polluted 
when thou art not so? So much the more do thou pity him, and weep because he is corrupt; 
and despise his opinion, because the eyes of his understanding are darkened. For even the 
Apostles were thus evil reported of; and they laughed to scorn their calumniators. But doth 
he call thee good and kind? If such indeed thou art, yet be not at all puffed up by the opinion: 
but if thou art not such, despise it the more, and esteem the thing to be mockery. 

Wouldest thou know the judgments of the greater part of men, how corrupt they are, 
how useless, and worthy of ridicule; some of them coming only from raving and distracted 
persons, others from children at the breast? Hear what hath been from the beginning. I will 
tell thee of judgments, not of the people only, but also of those who passed for the wisest, 


Homily XII 

of those who were legislators from the earliest period. For who would be counted wiser 
among the multitude than the person considered worthy of legislating for cities and peoples? 
But yet to these wise men fornication seems to be nothing evil nor worthy of punishment. 
At least, no one of the heathen laws makes its penal or brings men to trial on account of it. 
And should any one bring another into court for things of that kind, the multitude laughs 
it to scorn, and the judge will not suffer it. Dice-playing, again, is exempt from all their 
punishments: nor did any one among them ever incur penalty for it. Drunkenness and 
gluttony, so far from being a crime, are considered by many even as a fine thing. And in 
military carousals it is a point of great emulation; and they who most of all need a sober 
mind and a strong body, these are most of all given over to the tyranny of drunkenness; 
both utterly weakening the body and darkening the soul. Yet of the lawgivers not one hath 
punished this fault. What can be worse than this madness? 

Is then the good word of men so disposed an object of desire to thee, and dost thou not 
hide thyself in the earth? For even though all such admired thee, oughtest thou not to feel 
ashamed and cover thy face, at being applauded by men of such corrupt judgment? 

Again, blasphemy by legislators in general is accounted nothing terrible. At any rate, 
no one for having blasphemed God was ever brought to trial and punishment. But if a man 
steal another’s garment, or cut his purse, his sides are flayed, and he is often given over unto 
death: while he that blasphemeth God hath nothing laid to his charge by the heathen legis- 
lators. And if a man seduce a female servant when he hath a wife, it seems nothing to the 
heathen laws nor to men in general. 

[10.] Wilt thou hear besides of some things of another class which shew their folly? For 
as they punish not these things, so there are others which they enforce by law. What then 
are these? They collect crowds to fill theatres, and there they introduce choirs of harlots and 
prostituted children, yea such as trample on nature herself; and they make the whole people 
sit on high, and so they captivate their city; so they crown these mighty kings whom they 
are perpetually admiring for their trophies and victories. And yet, what can be more insipid 
than this honor? what more undelightful than this delight? From among these then seekest 
thou judges to applaud thy deeds? And is it in company with dancers, and effeminate, and 
buffoons, and harlots, that thou art fain to enjoy the sound of compliment? answer me. 

How can these things be other than proofs of extreme infatuation? For I should like to 
ask them, is it or is it not, a dreadful thing to subvert the laws of nature, and introduce un- 
lawful intercourse? They will surely 60 say, it is dreadful: at any rate, they make a show of 
inflicting a penalty on that crime. Why then dost thou bring on the stage those abused 

60 (itavrei; Savile; itavrux; Bened.) [Dr. Field adopts the former reading. C.] 


Homily XII 

wretches; and not only bring them in, but honor them also with honors innumerable, and 
gifts not to be told? In other places thou punishest those who dare such things; but here 
even as on common benefactors of the city, thou spendest money upon them and supportest 
them at the public expense. 

“However,” thou wilt say, “they are (dupoi) infamous 61 .” Why then train them up? 
(naiSorpifku;) Why choose the infamous to pay honor to kings withal? And why ruin our 
(exrpaxriAi^eic;, Plutarch, rcepi nouScov aycoyfic;, c. 17.) cities 62 ? Or why spend so much upon 
these persons? Since if they be infamous expulsion is properest for the infamous. For why 
didst thou render them infamous? in praise or in condemnation? Of course in condemnation. 
Is the next thing to be, that although as after condemnation you make them infamous, yet 
as if they were honorable you run to see them, and admire and praise and applaud? Why 


need I speak of the sort of charm which is found in the horse races? or in the contests of 
the wild beasts? For those places too being full of all senseless excitement train the populace 
to acquire a merciless and savage and inhuman kind of temper, and practise them in seeing 
men torn in pieces, and blood flowing, and the ferocity of wild beasts confounding all things. 
Now all these our wise lawgivers from the beginning introduced, being so many plagues! 
and our cities applaud and admire. 

[11.] But, if thou wilt, dismissing these things which clearly and confessedly are abom- 
inable, but seemed (ouk eSo^sv. perhaps “were not decreed.”) not [so] to the heathen legis- 
lators, let us proceed to their grave precepts; and thou shalt see these too corrupted through 
the opinion of the multitude. Thus marriage is accounted an honorable thing (Heb. xiii. 4) 
both by us and by those without: and it is honorable. But when marriages are solemnized, 
such ridiculous things 64 take place as ye shall hear of immediately: because the most part, 

61 Bingham (b. xvi. c. 4. §. 10.) proves that actors and the like were debarred from the Sacraments, except 
they renounced their calling, from very early times: from S. Cyprian, Ep. 61, who says, “I think it inconsistent 
with the majesty of God and the discipline of the Gospel, to allow the chastity and glory of the Church to be 
defiled with so base contagion:” from Tertullian; de Spectac. 4; de Cor. Mil. 13; and from the Apostolical Consti- 
tutions, viii. 32. 

62 Gibbon, c. 31. from Ammianus, relates, that on occasion of a scarcity, when all strangers were expelled 
from Rome, an exception was made in favor of the actors, singers, dancers, &c. 

63 paYyavei®;. Compare S. Augustin’s account in the Confessions of the way in which some persons were 
bewitched by the gladiatorial shows; of which his friend Alypius in his youth was a remarkable instance, b. vi. 
§. 13. 

64 S. Chrys. on Gen. Horn. 48. near the end, speaking of Rebekah’s veiling herself at sight of Isaac; “See the 

noble breeding of the maiden and observe here, I pray you, how there is no place here for these superfluous 

and useless things; for a diabolical procession, for cymbals and flutes and dances, and those revels, the device 

of Satan, and invectives full of all indecency; but all wisdom, all gravity, all thoughtfulness Let Rebekah be 

the pattern of our wives, let our husbands emulate Isaac; be it their endeavor thus to bring home their brides.” 


Homily XII 

possessed and beguiled by custom, are not even aware of their absurdity, but need others 
to teach them. For dancing, and cymbals, and flutes, and shameful words, and songs, and 
drunkenness, and revellings, and all the Devil’s great heap (noAuq 6 rou §ia(3oAou cpopuroc;) 
of garbage is then introduced. 

I know indeed that I shall appear ridiculous in finding fault with these things; and shall 
incur the charge of great folly with the generality, as disturbing the ancient laws: for, as I 
said before, great is the deceptive power of custom. But nevertheless, I will not cease repeating 
these things: for there is, there is surely a chance, that although not all, yet some few will 
receive our saying and will choose to be laughed to scorn with us, rather than we laugh with 
them such a laughter as deserves tears and overflowing punishment and vengeance. 

For how can it be other than worthy of the utmost condemnation that a damsel who 
hath spent her life entirely at home and been schooled in modesty from earliest childhood, 
should be compelled on a sudden to cast off all shame, and from the very commencement 
of her marriage be instructed in imprudence; and find herself put forward in the midst of 
wanton and rude men, and unchaste, and effeminate? What evil will not be implanted in 
the bride from that day forth? Immodesty, petulance, insolence, the love of vain glory: since 
they will naturally go on and desire to have all their days such as these. Hence our women 
become expensive and profuse; hence are they void of modesty, hence proceed their un- 
numbered evils. 

And tell me not of the custom: for if it be an evil thing, let it not be done even once: but 
if good, let it be done constantly. For tell me, is not committing fornication evil? Shall we 
then allow just once this to be done? By no means. Why? Because though it be done only 
once, it is evil all the same. So also that the bride be entertained in this way, if it be evil, let 
it not be done even once; but if it be not evil, let it even be done always. 

“What then,” saith one, “dost thou find fault with marriage? tell me.” That be far from 
me. I am not so senseless: but the things which are so unworthily appended to marriage, 

Then complaining, nearly as in the text, of the Fescennine verses, as they were called, and other bad customs, 
relics of heathenism, “Rather,” says he, “should the maiden be trained in all modesty from the beginning, and 
priests called, and prayers and blessings be used to rivet fast the concord of their common habitation, that so 
both the bridegroom’s love may increase, and the damsel’s purity of soul be heightened. So by all ways shall the 
deeds of virtue enter into that house, and all the acts of the devil be far off and they shall pass their life with joy, 
God’s Providence bringing them together.” So again Horn. 56. of the marriage of Jacob and Leah: in which place 
he complains especially of the introduction of people from the stage and orchestra at wedding feasts. See both 
places in Bingham, xxii. iv. 8: as also the 53d Canon of Laodicea: “It is wrong for Christians attending marriages 
to practice theatrical gestures or dances, but to take their part soberly in the morning or evening meal, as becometh 


Homily XII 

the painting the face, the coloring the eyebrows, and all the other niceness of that kind. For 
indeed from that day she will receive many lovers even before her destined consort. 

“But many will admire the woman for her beauty.” And what of that? Even if discreet, 
she will hardly avoid evil suspicion; but if careless, she will be quickly overtaken, having got 
that very day a starting point in dissolute behavior. 

Yet though the evils are so great, the omission of these proceedings is called an insult, 
by certain who are no better than brute beasts, and they are indignant that the woman is 
not exhibited to a multitude, that she is not set forth as a stage spectacle, common to all 
beholders: whereas most assuredly they should rather count it insult when these things do 
take place; and a laughing stock, and a farce. For even now I know that men will condemn 
me of much folly and make me a laughing stock: but the derision I can bear when any gain 
accrues from it. For I should indeed be worthy of derision, if while I was exhorting to con- 
tempt of the opinion of the many, I myself, of all men, were subdued by that feeling. 

Behold then what follows from all this. Not in the day only but also in the evening, they 
provide on purpose men that have well drunk, besotted, and inflamed with luxurious fare, 
to look upon the beauty of the damsel’s countenance; nor yet in the house only but even 
through the market-place do they lead her in pomp to make an exhibition; conducting her 
with torches late in the evening so as that she may be seen of all: by their doings recommend- 
ing nothing else than that henceforth she put off all modesty. And they do not even stop 
here; but with shameful words do they conduct her. And this with the multitude is a law. 
And runaway slaves and convicts, thousands of them and of desperate character, go on with 
impunity uttering whatever they please, both against her and against him who is going to 
take her to his home. Nor is there any thing solemn, but all base and full of indecency. Will 
it not be a fine lesson in chastity for the bride to see and hear such things? [Savile reads this 
sentence with a question.] And there is a sort of diabolical rivalry among these profligates 
to outdo one another in their zealous use of reproaches and foul words, whereby they put 
the whole company out of countenance, and those go away victorious who have found the 
largest store of railings and the greatest indecencies to throw at their neighbors. 

Now I know that I am a troublesome, sort of person and disagreeable, and morose, as 
though I were curtailing life of some of its pleasure. Why, this is the very cause of my 
mourning that things so displeasing are esteemed a sort of pleasure. For how, I ask, can it 
be other than displeasing to be insulted and reviled? to be reproached by all, together with 
your bride? If any one in the market place speak ill of thy wife, thou makest ado without 
end and countest life not worth living: and can it be that disgracing thyself with thy future 
consort in the presence of the whole city, thou art pleased and lookest gay on the matter? 
Why, what strange madness is this! 

“But,” saith one, “the thing is customary.” Nay, for this very reason we ought most to 
bewail it, because the devil hath hedged in the thing with custom. In fact, since marriage is 


Homily XII 

a solemn thing and that which recruits our race and the cause of numerous blessings; that 
evil one, inwardly pining and knowing that it was ordained as a barrier against uncleanness, 
by a new device introduces into it all kinds of uncleanness. At any rate, in such assemblages 
many virgins have been even corrupted. And if not so in every case, it is because for the 
time the devil is content with those words and those songs, so flagitious; with making a 
show of the bride openly, and leading the bridegroom in triumph through the market-place. 

Moreover, because all this takes place in the evening, that not even the darkness may 
be a veil to these evils, many torches are brought in, suffering not the disgraceful scene to 
be concealed. For what means the vast throng, and what the wassail, and what the pipes? 
Most clearly to prevent even those who are in their houses and plunged [(3atm^6pevot] in 
deep sleep from remaining ignorant of these proceedings; that being wakened by the pipe 
and leaning to look out of the lattices, they may be witnesses of the comedy such as it is. 

What can one say of the songs themselves, crammed as they are with all uncleanness, 
introducing monstrous amours, and unlawful connections, and subversions of houses, and 
tragic scenes without end; and making continual mention of the titles of “friend and lover,” 
“mistress and beloved?” And, what is still more grievous, that young women are present at 
these things, having divested themselves of all modesty; in honor of the bride, rather I should 
say to insult her, exposing even their own salvation 65 , and in the midst of wanton young 
men acting a shameless part with their disorderly songs, with their foul words, with their 
devilish harmony. Tell me then: dost thou still enquire, “Whence come adulteries? Whence 
fornications? Whence violations of marriage?” 

[12.] “But they are not noble nor decent women,” you will say, “who do these things.” 
Why then laugh me to scorn for this remonstrance, having been thyself aware of this law, 
before I said any thing. I say, if the proceedings are right, allow those well-born women also 
to enact them. For what if these others live in poverty? Are not they also virgins? ought not 
they also to be careful of chastity? But now here is a virgin dancing in a public theatre of li- 
centious youths; and, I ask, seems she not unto thee more dishonored than a harlot? 

But if you say, “Female servants do these things;” neither so do I acquit thee of my 
charge: for neither to these ought such things to have been permitted. For hence all these 
evils have their origin, that of our household we make no account. But it is enough in the 
way of contempt to say, “He is a slave,” and, “They are handmaids.” And yet, day after day 
we hear, (Gal. iii. 28.) “In Christ Jesus there is neither bond nor free.” Again, were it a horse 
or an ass, thou dost not overlook it but takest all pains not to have it of an inferior kind; and 
thy slaves who have souls like thine own dost thou neglect? And why do I say slaves, when 
I might say sons and daughters? What then must follow? It cannot be but grief (Aunqv, qu. 

65 rrjq eaurwv Ttporeivouaai acorripiaq. The Benedictine translates as if it were rdc; eocutwv: which is here 
followed. [The true reading as given by Field is rr]v eaurtov Ttpotrivou^at awrr|p{av. C.] 


Homily XII 

Aupr|v, “mischief.”) must immediately enter in, when all these are going to ruin. And often 
also very great losses must ensue, valuable golden ornaments being lost in the crowd and 
the confusion. 

[13.] Then after the marriage if perchance a child is born, in this case again we shall see 
the same folly and many practices [aup[3oAa] full of absurdity. For when the time is come 
for giving the infant a name, caring not to call it after the saints as the ancients at first did, 
they light lamps and give them names, and name the child after that one which continues 
burning the longest; from thence conjecturing that he will live a long time. After all, should 
there be many instances of the child’s untimely death, (and there are many,) great laughter 
on the devil’s part will ensue, at his having made sport of them as if they were silly children. 
What shall we say about the amulets and the bells which are hung upon the hand, and the 
scarlet woof, and the other things full of such extreme folly; when they ought to invest the 
child with nothing else save the protection of the Cross 66 . But now that is despised which 
hath converted the whole world and given the sore wound to the devil and overthrown all 
his power: while the thread, and the woof, and the other amulets of that kind are entrusted 
with the child’s safety. 

May I mention another thing yet more ridiculous than this? Only let no one tax us with 
speaking out of season, should our argument proceed with that instance also. For he that 
would cleanse an ulcer will not hesitate first to pollute his own hands. What then is this so 
very ridiculous custom? It is counted indeed as nothing; (and this is why I grieve;) but it is 
the beginning of folly and madness in the extreme. The women in the bath, nurses and 
waiting-maids, take up mud and smearing it with the finger make a mark on the child’s 
forehead; and if one ask, What means the mud, and the clay? the answer is, “It turneth away 
an evil eye, witchcraft and envy .” Astonishing! what power in the mud! what might in the 
clay! what mighty force is this which it has? It averts all the host of the devil. Tell me, can 
ye help hiding yourselves for shame? Will ye never come to understand the snares of the 
devil, how from earliest life he gradually brings in the several evils which he hath devised? 
For if the mud hath this effect, why dost thou not thyself also do the same to thine own 
forehead, when thou art a man and thy character is formed; and thou art likelier than the 
child to have such as envy thee? Why dost thou not as well bemire the whole body? I say, if 
on the forehead its virtue be so great, why not anoint thyself all over with mud? All this is 
mirth and stage-play to Satan, not mockery only but hell-fire being the consummation to 
which these deceived ones are tending. 

66 Compare St. Chrys. on Coloss. Horn. viii. near the end. 

67 So on Col. ubi supra. “What is all this folly? Here we have ashes, and soot, and salt, and the silly old woman 
again brought into play. Truly it is a mockery and a shame. ‘Nay,’ says she, ‘an evil eye has caught hold of the 
child!’ How long will you go on with these diabolical fancies?” &c. 


Homily XII 

[14.] Now that among Greeks such things should be done is no wonder: but among the 
worshippers of the Cross, (rov araupov npoaxuvouai) and partakers in unspeakable mys- 
teries, and professors of such high morality, (roaaura cpiAoaocpouoiv) that such unseemliness 
should prevail, this is especially to be deplored again and again. God hath honored thee with 
spiritual anointing; and dost thou defile thy child with mud? God hath honored thee, and 
dost thou dishonor thyself? And when thou shouldest inscribe on his forehead the Cross 
which affords invincible security; dost thou forego this, and cast thyself into the madness 
of Satan? 

If any look on these things as trifles, let them know that they are the source of great 
evils; and that not even unto Paul did it seem right to overlook the lesser things. For, tell 
me, what can be less than a man’s covering his head? Yet observe how great a matter he 
makes of this and with how great earnestness he forbids it; saying, among many things, “He 
dishonoreth his head.” (1 Cor. xi. 4.) Now if he that covers himself “dishonoreth his head”; 
he that besmears his child with mud, how can it be less than making it abominable? For 
how, I want to know, can he bring it to the hands of the priest? How canst thou require 


that on that forehead the seal should be placed by the hand of the presbyter, where thou 
hast been smearing the mud? Nay, my brethren, do not these things, but from earliest life 
encompass them with spiritual armor and instruct them to seal the forehead with the hand 
(rfj xsipi TiaiSeure acppayi^siv to perconov): and before they are able to do this with their 
own hand 69 , do you imprint upon them the Cross. 

Why should one speak of the other satanical observances in the case of travail-pangs 
and childbirths, which the midwives introduce with a mischief on their own heads? Of the 
outcries which take place at each person’s death, and when he is carried to his burial; the 
irrational wailings, the folly enacted at the funerals; the zeal about men’s monuments; the 
importunate and ridiculous swarm of the mourning women ; the observances of days; the 
days, I mean, of entrance into the world and of departure? 

[15.] Are these then, I beseech you, the persons whose good opinion thou followest 
after? And what can it be but the extreme of folly to seek earnestly the praise of men, so 
corrupt in their ideas, men whose conduct is all at random? when we ought always to resort 

68 i.e. the sign of the cross in baptism, made with consecrated balm or ointment, and called acppayK in the 
Apostolical Constitutions, iii. 17; vid. Bingham xi. 9. 6. St. Chrysostom, it may be remarked, takes for granted, 
1. that infants would be brought to baptism; 2. that they would be brought to the priest. 

69 Compare the well-known passages in Tertullian and St. Cyprian: the first, “At all our goings out and 
comings in, &c. we trace upon the forehead the sign of the cross;” de Cor. Mil. 3.: the other, “Arm your foreheads 
with all boldness, that the sign of the cross may be safe.” Ep. 50: both in Bingham ubi supra. 

70 About this custom, of hiring heathen women as mourners, he speaks very strongly elsewhere; Horn. 32. 
in Matt., Horn. 4. in Heb., both which are quoted in Bingham, xxxiii. 18. 


Homily XII 

to the unsleeping Eye, and look to His sentence in all that we do and speak? For these, even 
if they approve, will have no power to profit us. But He, should He accept our doings, will 
both here make us glorious, and in the future day will impart to us of the unspeakable good 
things: which may it be the lot of us all to obtain, through the grace and loving-kindness 
of our Lord Jesus Christ; with Whom to the Father and the Holy Spirit be glory, power, 
honor, now and always, and unto everlasting ages. Amen. 


Homily XIII 

Homily XIII. 

1 Cor. iv. 10 

“We are fools for Christ’s sake:” (For it is necessary from this point to resume our discourse:) 
“but ye are wise in Christ: we are weak, but ye are strong: ye have glory, but we have dis- 

Having filled his speech with much severity which conveys a sharper blow than any 
direct charge and having said, “Ye have reigned without us;” and “God hath set forth us last, 
as men doomed to death” he shows by what comes next how they are “doomed to death;” 
saying, We are fools, and weak, and despised, and hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and 
are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place, and toil, working with our own hands:” 
which were very signs of genuine teachers and apostles. Whereas the others prided themselves 
on the things which are contrary to these, on wisdom, glory, wealth, consideration. 

Desiring therefore to take down their self-conceit and to point out that in respect of 
these things, so far from taking credit to themselves, they ought rather to be ashamed; he 
first of all mocks them, saying, “Ye have reigned without us.” As if he had said, “My sentence 
is that the present is not a time of honor nor of glory, which kind of things you enjoy, but 
of persecution and insult, such as we are suffering. If however it be not so; if this rather be 
the time of remuneration: then as far as I see,” (but this he saith in irony,) “ye, the disciples, 
for your part have become no less than kings: but we the teachers and apostles, and before 
all entitled to receive the reward, not only have fallen very far behind you, but even, as persons 
doomed to death, that is, condemned convicts, spend our lives entirely in dishonors, and 
dangers, and hunger: yea insulted as fools, and driven about, and enduring all intolerable 

Now these things he said that he might hereby cause them also to consider, that they 
should zealously seek the condition of the Apostles; their dangers and their indignities, not 
their honors and glories. For these, not the other, are what the Gospel requires. But to this 
effect he speaks not directly, not to shew himself disagreeable to them: rather in a way 
characteristic of himself he takes in hand this rebuke. For if he had introduced his address 
in a direct manner, he would have spoken thus; “Ye err, and are beguiled, and have swerved 
far from the apostolical mode of instruction. For every apostle and minister of Christ ought 
to be esteemed a fool, ought to live in affliction and dishonor; which indeed is our state: 
whereas you are in the contrary case.” 

But thus might his expressions have offended them yet more, as containing but praises 
of the Apostles; and might have made them fiercer, censured as they were for indolence and 
vainglory and luxuriousness. Wherefore he conducts not his statement in this way, but in 
another, more striking but less offensive; and this is why he proceeds with his address as 


Homily XIII 

follows, saying ironically, “But ye are strong and honorable;” since, if he had not used irony, 
he would have spoken to this effect; “It is not possible that one man should be esteemed 
foolish, and another wise; one strong, and another weak; the Gospel requiring both the one 
and the other. For if it were in the nature of things that one should be this, and another that, 
perchance there might be some reason in what you say. But now it is not permitted, either 
to be counted wise, or honorable, or to be free from dangers. If otherwise, it follows of ne- 
cessity that you are preferred before us in the sight of God; you the disciples before us the 
teachers, and that after our endless hardships.” If this be too bad for anyone to say, it remains 
for you to make our condition your object. 

[2.] And “let no one,” saith he, “think that I speak only of the past:” 

Ver. 11. “Even unto this present hour we both hunger and thirst and are naked.” Seest 
thou that all the life of Christians must be such as this; and not merely a day or two? For 
though the wrestler who is victorious in a single contest only, be crowned, he is not crowned 
again if he suffer a fall. 

“And hunger;” against the luxurious. “And are buffeted;” against those who are puffed 
up. “And have no certain dwelling-place;” for we are driven about. “And are naked;” against 
the rich. 

Ver. 12. “And labor;” now against the false apostles who endure neither toil nor peril, 
while they themselves receive the fruits. “But not so are we,” saith he: “but together with 
our perils from without, we also strain ourselves to the utmost with perpetual labor. And 
what is still more, no one can say that we fret at these things, for the contrary is our requital 
to them that so deal with us: this, I say, is the main point, not our suffering evil, for that is 
common to all, but our suffering without despondency or vexation. But we so far from 
desponding are full of exultation. And a sure proof of this is our requiting with the contrary 
those who do us wrong.” 

Now as to the fact that so they did, hear what follows. 

[Ver. 12, 13.] “Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; being defamed, we 
entreat; we are made as the filth of the world.” This is the meaning of “fools for Christ’s 
sake.” For whoso suffers wrong and avenges not himself nor is vexed, is reckoned a fool by 
the heathen; and dishonored and weak. And in order that he might not render his speech 
too unpalatable by referring the sufferings he was speaking of to their city, what saith he? 
“We are made the filth,” not, “of your city,” but, “of the world.” And again, “the off-scouring 
of all men;” not of you alone, but of all. As then when he is discoursing of the providential 
care of Christ, letting pass the earth, the heaven, the whole creation, the Cross is what he 
brings forward; so also when he desires to attract them to himself hurrying by all his miracles, 
he speaks of his sufferings on their account. So also it is our method when we be injured by 
any and despised, whatsoever we have endured for them, to bring the same forward. 


Homily XIII 

“The offscouring of all men, even until now.” This is a vigorous blow which he gave at 
the end, “of all men;” “not of the persecutors only,” saith he, “but of those also for whom 
we suffer these things: Oh greatly am I obliged to them.” It is the expression of one seriously 
concerned; not in pain himself, but desiring to make them feel, (n:Afj£;ai) that he who hath 
innumerable complaints to make should even salute them. And therefore did Christ com- 
mand us to bear insults meekly that we might both exercise ourselves in a high strain of 
virtue, and put the other party to the more shame. For that effect one produces not so well 
by reproach as by silence. 

Ver. 14. [3.] Then since he saw that the blow could not well be borne, he speedily heals 
it; saying, “I write not these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved chil- 
dren.” “For not as abashing you,” saith he, “do I speak these things.” The very thing which 
by his words he had done, this he says he had not done: rather he allows that he had done 
it, not however with an evil and spiteful mind. Why, this mode of soothing is the very best, 
if we should say what we have to say and add the apology from our motive. For not to speak 
was impossible, since they would have remained uncorrected: on the other hand, after he 
had spoken, to leave the wound untended, were hard. Wherefore along with his severity he 
apologizes: for this so far from destroying the effect of the knife, rather makes it sink deeper 
in, while it moderates the full pain of the wound. Since when a man is told that not in re- 
proach but in love are these things said, he the more readily receives correction. 

However, even here also is great severity, and a strong appeal to their sense of shame, 
(evTpottrj) in that he said not, “As a master” nor yet “as an apostle,” nor yet “as having you 
for my disciples;” (which had well suited his claims on them;) but, “as my beloved children 
I admonish you.” And not simply, children; but, “longed after.” “Forgive me,” saith he. “If 
anything disagreeable has been said, it all proceeds of love.” And he said not, “I rebuke,” 
but “I admonish.” Now, who would not bear with a father in grief, and in the act of giving 
good advice? Wherefore he did not say this before, but after he had given the blow. 

“What then?” some might say; “Do not other teachers spare us?” “I say not so, but, they 
carry not their forbearance so far.” This however he spake not out at once, but by their 
professions and titles gave indication of it; “Tutor” and “Father” being the terms which he 

Ver. 15. [4.] “For though,” saith he, “ye have ten thousand tutors in Christ, yet have ye 
not many fathers.” He is not here setting forth his dignity, but the exceeding greatness of 
his love. Thus neither did he wound the other teachers: since he adds the clause, “in Christ:” 
but rather soothed them, designating not as parasites but as tutors those among them who 
were zealous and patient of labor: and also manifested his own anxious care of them. On 
this account he said not, “Yet not many masters,” but, “not many fathers.” So little was it 
his object to set down any name of dignity, or to argue that of him they had received the 
greater benefit: but granting to the others the great pains they had taken for the Corinthians, 


Homily XIII 

(for that is the force of the word Tutor,) the superiority in love he reserves for his own por- 
tion: for that again is the force of the word Father. 

And he saith not merely, No one loves you so much; a statement which admitted not 
of being called in question; but he also brings forward a real fact. What then is this? “For in 
Christ Jesus I begat you through the Gospel. In Christ Jesus.” Not unto myself do I impute 
this. Again, he strikes at those who gave their own names to their teaching. For “ye,” saith 
he, “are the seal of mine Apostleship.” And again, “I planted:” and in this place, “I begat.” 
He said not, “I preached the word,” but, “I begat;” using the words of natural relationship, 
(rote; Tfjq cpuascoc; ovopaot) For his one care at the moment was, to shew forth the love 
which he had for them. “For they indeed received you from me, and led you on; but that 
you are believers at all came to pass through me.” Thus, because he had said, “as children;” 
lest you should suppose that the expression was flattery he produces also the matter of fact. 

Ver. 16. [5.] “I beseech you, be ye imitators of me, as I also am of Christ.” (k(X0cck; Kayw 
Xpiarou, omitted in our version: the Vulgate has it, see c. xi. 1.) Astonishing! How great is 
our teacher’s boldness of speech! How highly finished the image, when he can even exhort 
others hereunto! Not that in self- exaltation he doth so, but implying that virtue is an easy 
thing. As if he had said, “Tell me not, ‘I am not able to imitate thee. Thou art a Teacher, and 
a great one.’ For the difference between me and you is not so great as between Christ and 
me: and yet I have imitated Him.” 

On the other hand, writing to the Ephesians, he interposes no mention of himself, but 
leads them all straight to the one point, “Be ye imitators of God,” is his word. (Ephes. v. 1.) 
But in this place, since his discourse was addressed to weak persons, he puts himself in by 
the way. 

And besides, too, he signifies that it is possible even thus to imitate Christ. For he who 
copies the perfect impression of the seal, copies the original model. 

Let us see then in what way he followed Christ: for this imitation needs not time and 
art, but a steady purpose alone. Thus if we go into the study of a painter, we shall not be 
able to copy the portrait, though we see it ten thousand times. But to copy him we are enabled 
by hearing alone. Will ye then that we bring the tablet before you and sketch out for you 
Paul’s manner of life? Well, let it be produced, that picture far brighter than all the images 
of Emperors: for its material is not boards glued together, nor canvass stretched out; but 
the material is the work of God: being as it is a soul and a body: a soul, the work of God, not 
of men; and a body again in like wise. 

Did you utter applause here? Nay, not here is the time for plaudits; but in what follows: 
for applauding, I say, and for imitating too: for so far we have but the material which is 
common to all without exception: inasmuch as soul differs not from soul in regard of its 
being a soul: but the purpose of heart shews the difference. For as one body differs not from 


Homily XIII 

another in so far as it is a body, but Paul’s body is like every one’s else, only dangers make 
one body more brilliant than another: just so is it in the case of the soul also. 

[6.] Suppose then our tablet to be the soul of Paul: this tablet was lately lying covered 
with soot, full of spider’s webs; (for nothing can be worse than blasphemy;) but when He 
came who transformeth all things, and saw that not through indolence or sluggishness were 
his lines so drawn but through inexperience and his not having the tints (rd av0r|) of true 
piety: (for zeal indeed he had, but the colors were not there; for he had not “the zeal according 
to knowledge:”) He gives him the tint of the truth, that is, grace: and in a moment he exhib- 
ited the imperial image. For having got the colors and learnt what he was ignorant of, he 
waited no time, but forthwith appeared a most excellent artist. And first he shews the head 
of the king, preaching Christ; then also the remainder of the body; the body of a perfect 
Christian life. Now painters we know shut themselves up and execute all their works with 
great nicety and in quiet; not opening the doors to any one: but this man, setting forth his 
tablet in the view of the world, in the midst of universal opposition, clamor, disturbance, 
did under such circumstances work out this Royal Image, and was not hindered. And 
therefore he said, “We are made a spectacle unto the world;” in the midst of earth, and sea, 
and the heaven, and the whole habitable globe, and the world both material and intellectual, 
he was drawing that portrait of his. 

Would you like to see the other parts also thereof from the head downwards? Or will 
ye that from below we carry our description upwards? Contemplate then a statue of gold 
or rather of something more costly than gold, and such as might stand in heaven; not fixed 
with lead nor placed in one spot, but hurrying from Jerusalem even unto Illyricum, (Rom. 
xv. 19.) and setting forth into Spain, and borne as it were on wings over every part of the 
world. For what could be more “beautiful” than these “feet” which visited the whole earth 
under the sun? This same “beauty” the prophet also from of old proclaimeth, saying, (Is. hi. 
7.) “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace!” Hast thou seen 
how fair are the feet? Wilt thou see the bosom too? Come, let me shew thee this also, and 
thou shalt behold it far more splendid than these beautiful, yea even than the bosom itself 
of the ancient lawgiver. For Moses indeed carried tablets of stone: but this man within him 
had Christ Himself: it was the very image of the King which he bore. 

For this cause he was more awful than the Mercy Seat and the Cherubim. For no such 
voice went out from them as from hence; but from them it talked with men chiefly about 

71 That is, probably, “of our Lord’s Human Nature:” according to Theodoret on Rom. iii. 25. “The true Mercy 
Seat is the Lord Christ. The name suits Him as man, not as God: for as God, He Himself gives oracles from the 
Mercy Seat.” And Theophylact on the same place: “It meant certainly the Human Nature, which was the Sheath 
of the Deity, covering It over.” See Suicer on the word lA.aarrjpiov. [This note is based upon a false reading, 
which has been corrected according to Field. C.] 


Homily XIII 

things of sense, from the tongue of Paul on the other hand about the things above the 
heavens. Again, from the Mercy Seat it spake oracles to the Jews alone; but from hence to 
the whole world: and there it was by things without life; but here by a soul instinct with 

This Mercy Seat was brighter even than heaven, not shining forth with variety of stars 
nor with rays from the sun, but the very Sun of righteousness was there, and from hence 
He sent forth His rays. Again, from time to time in this our heaven, any cloud coursing over 
at times makes it gloomy; but that bosom never had any such storm sweeping across it. Or 
rather there did sweep over it many storms and oft: but the light they darkened not; rather 
in the midst of the temptation and dangers the light shone out. Wherefore also he himself 
when bound with his chain kept exclaiming, (2 Tim. ii. 9.) “The word of God is not bound.” 
Thus continually by means of that tongue was It sending forth its rays. And no fear, no 
danger made that bosom gloomy. Perhaps the bosom seems to outdo the feet; however, 
both they as feet are beautiful, and this as a bosom. 

Wilt thou see also the belly with its proper beauty? Hear what he saith about it, (ch. viii. 
13.) “If meat make my brother to stumble, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth: (Rom. 
xiv. 2 1 .) It is good neither to eat flesh nor to drink wine, nor anything whereby thy brother 
stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak: (ch. vi. 13.) Meats for the belly and the belly for 
meats.” What can be more beautiful in its kind than this belly thus instructed to be quiet, 
and taught all temperance, and knowing how both to hunger and be famished, and also to 
suffer thirst? For as a well-trained horse with a golden bridle, so also did this walk with 
measured paces, having vanquished the necessity of nature. For it was Christ walking in it. 
Now this being so temperate, it is quite plain that the whole body of vice besides was done 

Wouldst thou see the hands too? those which he now hath? Or wouldest thou rather 
behold first their former wickedness? (Acts viii. 3.) “Entering (this very man) into the houses, 
he haled,” of late, “men and women,” with the hands not of man, but of some fierce wild 
beast. But as soon as he had received the colors of the Truth and the spiritual experience, 
no longer were these the hands of a man, but spiritual; day by day being bound with chains. 
And they never struck any one, but they were stricken times without number. Once even a 
viper (Acts xxviii. 3, 5.) reverenced those hands: for they were the hands of a human being 
no longer; and therefore it did not even fasten on them. 

And wilt thou see also the back, resembling as it does the other members? Hear what 
he saith about this also. (2 Cor. xi. 24, 25.) “Five times I received of the Jews forty stripes 
save one; thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a 
night and a day I have been in the deep.” 

[7.] But lest we too should fall into an interminable deep, and be carried away far and 
wide, going over each of his members severally; come let us quit the body and look at another 


Homily XIII 

sort of beauty, that, namely, which proceeds from his garments; to which even devils shewed 
reverence; and therefore both they made off, and diseases took flight. And wheresoever Paul 
happened to shew himself, they all retired and got out of the way, as if the champion of the 
whole world had appeared. And as they who have been often wounded in war, should they 
see but some part of the armor of him that wounded them feel a shuddering; much in the 
same way the devils also, at sight of “handkerchiefs” only were astonied. Where be now the 
rich, and they that have high thoughts about wealth? Where they who count over their own 
titles and their costly robes? With these things if they compare themselves, it will be clay in 
their sight and dirt, all they have of their own. And why speak I of garments and golden 
ornaments? Why, if one would grant me the whole world in possession, the mere nail of 
Paul I should esteem more powerful than all that dominion: his poverty than all luxury: his 
dishonor, than all glory: his nakedness than all riches: no security would I compare with 
the buffeting of that sacred head: no diadem, with the stones to which he was a mark. This 
crown let us long for, beloved: and if persecution be not now, let us mean while prepare 
ourselves. For neither was he of whom we speak glorious by persecutions alone: for he said 
also, (1 Cor. ix. 27. UTtoiae^co rec. text, urccoma^co) “I keep under my body;” nowin this one 
may attain excellence without persecutions. And he exhorted not to (Rom. iii. 14.) “make 
provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof.” And again, (1 Tim. vi. 8.) “Having food 
and covering, let us be therewith content.” For to these purposes we have no need of perse- 
cutions. And the wealthy too he sought to moderate, saying, (Ibid. 9.) “They that desire to 
be rich fall into temptation.” 

If therefore we also thus exercise ourselves, when we enter into the contest we shall be 
crowned: and though there be no persecution before us, we shall receive for these things 
many rewards. But if we pamper the body and live the life of a swine, even in peace we shall 
often sin and bear shame. 

Seest thou not with whom we wrestle? With the incorporeal powers. How then, being 
ourselves flesh, are we to get the better of these? For if wrestling with men one have need 
to be temperate in diet, much more with evil spirits. But when together with fulness of flesh 
we are also bound down to wealth, whence are we to overcome our antagonists? For wealth 
is a chain, a grievous chain, to those who know not how to use it; a tyrant savage and inhu- 
man, imposing all his commands by way of outrage on those who serve him. Howbeit, if 
we will, this bitter tyranny we shall depose from its throne, and make it yield to us, instead 
of commanding. How then shall this be? By distributing our wealth unto all. For so long as 
it stands against us, each single handed, like any robber in a wilderness it works all its bad 
ends: but when we bring it forth among others, it will master us no more, holden as it will 
be in chains, on all sides, by all men. 

[8.] And these things I say, not because riches are a sin: the sin is in not distributing 
them to the poor, and in the wrong use of them. For God made nothing evil but all things 


Homily XIII 

very good; so that riches too are good; i.e. if they do not master their owners; if the wants 
of our neighbors be done away by them. For neither is that light good which instead of dis- 
sipating darkness rather makes it intense: nor should I call that wealth, which instead of 
doing away poverty rather increases it. For the rich man seeks not to take from others but 
to help others: but he that seeks to receive from others is no longer rich, but is emphatically 
poor. So that it is not riches that are an evil, but the needy mind which turns wealth into 
poverty. These are more wretched than those who ask alms in the narrow streets, carrying 
a wallet and mutilated in body. I say, clothed in rags as they are, not so miserable as those 
in silks and shining garments. Those who strut in the market-place are more to be pitied 
than those who haunt the crossings of the streets, and enter into the courts, and cry from 
their cellars, and ask charity. For these for their part do utter praises to God, and speak 
words of mercy and a strict morality. And therefore we pity them, and stretch out the hand, 
and never find fault with them. But those who are rich to bad purpose; cruelty and inhuman- 
ity, ravening and satanical lust, are in the words they belch out. And therefore by all are they 
detested and laughed to scorn. Do but consider; which of the two among all men is reckoned 
disgraceful, to beg of the rich or the poor. Every one, I suppose, sees it at once: — of the poor. 
Now this, if you mark it, is what the rich do; for they durst not apply to those who are richer 
than themselves: whereas those who beg do so of the wealthy: for one beggar asks not alms 
of another, but of a rich man; but the rich man tears the poor in pieces. 

Again tell me, which is the more dignified, to receive from those who are willing and 
are obliged to you, or when men are unwilling, to compel and tease them? Clearly not to 
trouble those who are unwilling. But this also the rich do: for the poor receive from willing 
hands, and such as are obliged to them; but the rich from persons unwilling and repugnant, 
which is an indication of greater poverty. For if no one would like so much as to go to a 
meal, unless the inviter were to feel obliged to the guest, how can it be honorable to take 
one’s share of any property by compulsion? Do we not on this account get out of the way 
of dogs and fly from their baying, because by their much besetting they fairly force us off? 
This also our rich men do. 

“But, that fear should accompany the gift, is more dignified.” Nay, this is of all most 
disgraceful. For he who moves heaven and earth about his gains, who can be so laughed to 
scorn as he? For even unto dogs, not seldom, through fear, we throw whatever we had hold 
of. Which I ask again, is more disgraceful? that one clothed with rags should beg, or one 
who wears silk? Thus when a rich man pays court to old and poor persons, so as to get 
possession of their property, and this when there are children, what pardon can he deserve? 

Further: If you will, let us examine the very words; what the rich beggars say, and what 
the poor. What then saith the poor man? “That he who giveth alms will never have to give 
by measure (perpiaoei perhaps corrupt: conj. Tteivdoei, “will never hunger); that he is giving 
of what is God’s: that God is loving unto men, and recompenses more abundantly; all which 


Homily XIII 

are words of high morality, and exhortation, and counsel. For he recommends thee to look 
unto the Lord, and he takes away thy fear of the poverty to come. And one may perceive 
much instruction in the words of those who ask alms: but of what kind are those of the rich? 
Why, of swine, and dogs, and wolves, and all other wild beasts. For some of them discourse 
perpetually on banquets, and dishes, and delicacies, and wine of all sorts, and ointments, 
and vestures, and all the rest of that extravagance. And others about the interest of money 
and loans. And making out accounts and increasing the mass of debts to an intolerable 
amount, as if it had begun in the time of men’s fathers or grandfathers, one they rob of his 
house, another of his field, and another of his slave, and of all that he has. Why should one 
speak of their wills, which are written in blood instead of ink? For either by surrounding 
them with some intolerable danger, or else bewitching them with some paltry promises, 
whomsoever they may see in possession of some small property, those they persuade to pass 
by all their relations, and that oftentimes when perishing through poverty, and instead of 
them to enter their own names. Is there any madness and ferocity of wild beasts of any sort 
which these things do not throw into the shade? 

[8.] Wherefore I beseech you, all such wealth as this let us flee, disgraceful as it is and 
in deaths abundant; and let us obtain that which is spiritual, and let us seek after the treasures 
in the heavens. For whoso possess these, they are the rich, they are the wealthy, both here 
and there enjoying things; even all things. Since whoso will be poor, according to the word 
of God, has all men’s houses opened to him. For unto him that for God’s sake has ceased 
to possess any thing, every one will contribute of his own. But whoso will hold a little with 
injustice, shutteth the doors of all against him. To the end, then, that we may attain both to 
the good things here and to those which are there, let us choose the wealth which cannot 
be removed, that immortal abundance: which may God grant us all to obtain, through the 
grace and loving-kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, &c. 


Homily XIV 

Homily XIV. 

1 Cor. iv. 17 

For this cause have I sent unto you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, 


who shall put you in remembrance of my ways which be in Christ Jesus. 

Consider here also, I entreat, the noble soul, the soul more glowing and keener than 
fire: how he was indeed especially desirous to be present himself with the Corinthians, thus 
distempered and broken into parties. For he knew well what a help to the disciples his 
presence was and what a mischief his absence. And the former he declared in the Epistle to 
the Philippians, saying, (Phil. ii. 12. kou[] om. in rec. text.) “Not as in my presence only, but 
also now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” 

The latter he signifies in this Epistle, saying, (ver. 18.) “Now some are puffed up, as though 
I were not coming to you; but I will come.” He was urgent, it seems, and desirous to be 
present himself. But as this was not possible for a time, he corrects them by the promise of 
his appearance; and not this only, but also by the sending of his disciple. “For this,” he saith, 
“I have sent unto you Timothy.” “For this cause:” how is that? “Because I care for you as for 
children, and as having begotten you.” And the message is accompanied with a recommend- 
ation of his person: “Who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord.” Now this he said, 
both to shew his love of him, and to prepare them to look on him with respect. And not 
simply “faithful,” but, “in the Lord;” that is, in the things pertaining to the Lord. Now if in 
worldly things it is high praise for a man to be faithful, much more in things spiritual. 

If then he was his “beloved child,” consider how great was Paul’s love, in choosing to 
be separated from him for the Corinthian’s sake, And if “faithful” also, he will be unexcep- 
tionable in his ministering to their affairs. 

“Who shall put you in remembrance.” He said not, “shall teach,” lest they should take 
it ill, as being used to learn from himself. Wherefore also towards the end he saith, (1 Cor. 
xvi. 10, 11.) “For he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do. Let no man therefore despise 
him.” For there was no envy among the Apostles, but they had an eye unto one thing, the 
edification of the Church. And if he that was employed was their inferior, they did as it were 
support (ouvsKporouv) him with all earnestness. Wherefore neither was he contented with 
saying, “He shall put you in remembrance;” but purposing to cut out their envy more 
completely, — for Timothy was young, — with this view, I say, he adds, “my ways;” not “his,” 
but “mine;” that is, his methods, (rac; obcovopfac;.) his dangers, his customs, his laws, his 
ordinances, his Apostolical Canons, and all the rest. For since he had said, “We are naked, 

72 ’ Ir|aou om. in rec. text, [but retained it Rev. Vers.] 


Homily XIV 

and are buffered, and have no certain dwelling place: all these things,” saith he, “he will re- 
mind you of;” and also of the laws of Christ; for destroying all heresies. Then, carrying his 
argument higher, he adds, “which be in Christ;” ascribing all, as was his wont, unto the Lord, 
and on that ground establishing the credibility of what is to follow. Wherefore he subjoins, 
“Even as I teach every where in every church.” “Nothing new have I spoken unto you: of 
these my proceedings all the other Churches are cognizant as well as you.” Further: he calls 
them “ways in Christ,” to shew that they have in them nothing human, and that with the 
aid from that source he doth all things well. 

[2.] And having said these things and so soothed them, and being just about to enter 
on his charge against the unclean person, he again utters words full of anger; not that in 
himself he felt so but in order to correct them: and giving over the fornicator, he directs his 
discourse to the rest, as not deeming him worthy even of words from himself; just as we act 
in regard to our servants when they have given us great offence. 

Next, after that he had said, “I send Timothy, lest they should thereupon take things 
too easily, mark what he saith: 

Ver. 18. “Now some are puffed up, as though I were not coming unto you.” For there 
he glances both at them and at certain others, casting down their highmindedness: since 
the love of preeminence is in fault, when men abuse the absence of their teacher for their 
own self-will. For when he addresses himself unto the people, observe how he does it by 
way of appeal to their sense of shame; when unto the originators of the mischief, his manner 
is more vehement. Thus unto the former he saith, “We are the offscouring of all:” and 
soothing them he saith, “Not to shame you I write these things;” but to the latter, “Now as 
though I were not coming to you, some are puffed up;” shewing that their self-will argued 
a childish turn of mind. For so boys in the absence of their master wax more negligent. 

This then is one thing here indicated; and another is that his presence was sufficient for 
their correction. For as the presence of a lion makes all living creatures shrink away, so also 
does that of Paul the corrupters of the Church. 

Ver. 19. And therefore he goes on, “But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will.” 
Now to say this only would seem to be mere threatening. But to promise himself and demand 
from them the requisite proof by actions also; this was a course for a truly high spirit. Ac- 
cordingly he added this too, saying, 

“And I will know, not the word of them which are puffed up, but the power.” For not 
from any excellencies of their own but from their teacher’s absence, this self-will arose. 
Which again itself was a mark of a scornful mind towards him. And this is why, having said, 
“I have sent Timothy,” he did not at once add, “I will come;” but waited until he had brought 
his charge against them of being “puffed up:” after that he saith, “I will come.” Since, had 
he put it before the charge, it would rather have been an apology for himself as not having 
been deficient, instead of a threat; nor even so (ourcoc; so the King’s ms. ouroc; the rec. text.) 


Homily XIV 

would the statement have been convincing. But as it is, placing it after the accusation, he 
rendered himself such as they would both believe and fear. 

Mark also how solid and secure he makes his ground: for he saith not simply, “I will 
come:” but, “If the Lord will:” and he appoints no set time. For since he might perhaps be 
tardy in coming, by that uncertainty he would fain keep them anxiously engaged. And, lest 
they should hereupon fall back again, he added, “shortly,” 

[3.] “And I will know, not the word of them that are puffed up, but the power.” He said 
not, “I will know not the wisdom, nor the signs,” but what? “not the word:” by the term he 
employs at the same time depressing the one and exalting the other. And for a while he is 
setting himself against the generality of them who were countenancing the fornicator. For 
if he were speaking of him, he would not say, “the power;” but, “the works,” the corrupt 
works which he did. 

Now why seekest thou not after “the word?” “Not because I am wanting in word but 
because all our doings are ‘in power.’” As therefore in war success is not for those who talk 
much but those who effect much; so also in this case, not speakers, but doers have the victory. 
“Thou,” saith he, “art proud of this fine speaking. Well, if it were a contest and a time for 
orators, thou mightest reasonably be elated thereat: but if of Apostles preaching truth, and 
by signs confirming the same, why art thou puffed up for a thing superfluous and unreal, 
and to the present purpose utterly inefficient? For what could a display of words avail towards 
raising the dead, or expelling evil spirits, or working any other such deed of wonder? But 
these are what we want now, and by these our cause stands.” Whereupon also he adds, 

Ver. 20. “For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” By signs, saith he, not 
by fine speaking, we have prevailed: and that our teaching is divine and really announces 
the Kingdom of Heaven we give the greater proof, namely, our signs which we work by the 
power of the Spirit. If those who are now puffed up desire to be some great ones; as soon as 
I am come, let them shew whether they have any such power. And let me not find them 
sheltering themselves behind a pomp of words: for that kind of art is nothing to us. 

[4.] Ver. 21. “What will ye? Shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love and a spirit of 

There is much both of terror and of gentleness in this saying. For to say, “I will know,” 
was the language of one as yet withholding himself: but to say, “What will ye? Must I come 
unto you with a rod?” are the words of one thenceforth ascending the teacher’s seat, and 
from thence holding discourses with them and taking upon him all his authority. 

What means, “with a rod?” With punishment, with vengeance: that is, I will destroy; I 
will strike with blindness: the kind of thing which Peter did in the case of Sapphira, and 
himself in the case of Elymas the sorcerer. For henceforth he no longer speaks as bringing 
himself into a close comparison with the other teachers, but with authority. And in the 


Homily XIV 

second Epistle too he appears to say the same, when he writes, “Since ye seek a proof of 
Christ speaking in me.” 

“Shall I come with a rod, or in love?” What then? to come with a rod, was it not an in- 

’ 7 '! 

stance of love? Of love it was surely . But because through his great love he shrinks back 
in punishing, therefore he so expresses himself. 

Further; when he spoke about punishment, he said not, “in a spirit of meekness,” but, 
[simply,] “with a rod:” and yet of that too the Spirit was author. For there is a spirit of 
meekness, and a spirit of severity. He doth not, however, choose so to call it, but from its 
milder aspect (omo rcov xpnororepwv.) And for a like reason also, God, although avenging 
Himself, has it often affirmed of Him that He is “gracious and long-suffering, and rich in 
mercy and pity:” but that He is apt to punish, once perhaps or twice, and sparingly, and that 
upon some urgent cause. 

[5.] Consider then the wisdom of Paul; holding the authority in his own hands, he leaves 
both his and that in the power of others, saying, “What will ye?” “The matter is at your dis- 

For we too have depending on us both sides of the alternative; both falling into hell, 
and obtaining the kingdom: since God hath so willed it. For, “behold,” saith he, “fire and 
water: whichever way thou wilt, thou mayest stretch forth thine hand” (Ecclus. xv. 16.) And, 
“If ye be willing, and will hearken unto me, ye shall eat the good of the land; (Is. i. 19,) but 
if ye be not willing, the sword shall devour you.” 

But perhaps one will say, “I am willing; (and no one is so void of understanding as not 
to be willing;) but to will is not sufficient for me.” Nay, but it is sufficient, if thou be duly 
willing, and do the deeds of one that is willing. But as it is, thou art not greatly willing. 

And let us try this in other things, if it seem good. For tell me, he that would marry a 
wife, is he content with wishing? By no means; but he looks out for women to advance his 
suit, and request friends to keep watch with him, and gets together money. Again, the mer- 
chant is not content with sitting at home and wishing, but he first hires a vessel, then selects 
sailors and rowers, then takes up money on interest, and is inquisitive about a market and 
the price of merchandise. Is it not then strange for men to shew themselves so much in 
earnest about earthly things, but that when they are to make a venture for heaven, they 
should be content with wishing only? rather I should say, not even in this do they shew 
themselves properly in earnest. For he that wills a thing as he ought, puts also his hand unto 
the means which lead to the object of his desire. Thus, when hunger compels thee to take 

73 St. Augustin, cont. Parmen , iii. 3. “Are we to suppose that “the rod ” at all excludes “love,” because he has 
given this turn to his sentence, ‘Shall I come unto you with a rod,’ or ‘in love?’ Nay, the following clause, ‘And 
in a spirit of meekness,’ hints what was passing in his mind — that the rod also has in it love. But love in severity 
is one thing, love in meekness another thing. The love is the same, but it works diversely in divers cases.” 


Homily XIV 

nourishment, thou waitest not for the viands to come unto thee of their own accord, but 
omittest nothing to gather victuals together. So in thirst, and cold and all other such things, 
thou art industrious and duly prepared to take care of the body. Now do this in respect of 
God’s kingdom also, and surely thou shalt obtain it. 

For to this end God made thee a free agent, that thou mightest not afterwards accuse 
God, as though some necessity had bound thee: but thou, in regard of those very things 
wherein thou hast been honored, dost murmur. 

For in fact I have often heard people say, “But why did He then make my goodness de- 
pend on me?” Nay, but how was He to bring thee, slumbering and sleeping, and in love with 
all iniquity, and living delicately, and pampering thyself; how was He to bring thee up to 
heaven? If He had, thou wouldest not have abstained from vice. For if now, even in the face 
of threatening, thou dost not turn aside from thy wickedness; had he added no less than 
heaven as the end of thy race, when wouldest thou have ceased waxing more careless and 
worse by far? (xeipoov noAAtp. ttoAAcov Bened.) 

Neither again wilt thou be able to allege, He hath shewed me indeed what things were 
good but gave no help, for abundant also is His promise to thee of aid. 

[6.] “But,” say you, “Virtue is burdensome and distasteful; while with vice great pleasure 
is blended; and the one is wide and broad, but the other strait and narrow.” 

Tell me then, are they respectively such throughout, or only from the beginning? For 
in fact what thou here sayest, thou sayest, not intending it, in behalf of virtue; so potent a 
thing is truth. For suppose there were two roads, the one leading to a furnace, and the other 
to a Paradise; and that the one unto the furnace were broad, the other unto Paradise, narrow; 
which road wouldest thou take in preference? For although you may now gainsay for con- 
tradiction’s sake, yet things which are plainly allowed on all hands, however shameless, you 
will not be able to gainsay. Now that that way is rather to be chosen which hath its beginning 
difficult but not its end, I will endeavor to teach you from what is quite obvious. And, if you 
please, let us first take in hand the arts. For these have their beginning full of toil, but the 
end gainful. “But,” say you, “no one applies himself to an art without some one to compel 
him; for,” you add, “so long as the boy is his own master, he will choose rather to take his 
ease at first, and in the end to endure the evil, how great soever, than to live hardly at the 
outset, and afterwards reap the fruit of those labors.” Well then, to make such a choice comes 
of a mind left to itself, (opcpavtKrjc; Siavoiap) and of childish idleness: but the contrary choice, 
of sense and manliness. And so it is with us: were we not children in mind, we should not 
be like the child aforesaid, forsaken (opcpavpj) as he is and thoughtless, but like him that 
hath a father. We must cast out then our own childish mind, and not find fault with the 
things themselves; and we must set a charioteer over our conscience, who will not allow us 
to indulge our appetite, but make us run and strive mightily. For what else but absurdity is 
it to inure our children with pains at first unto pursuits which have laborious beginnings, 


Homily XIV 

but their end good and pleasant; while we ourselves in spiritual things take just the contrary 

And yet even in those earthly things it is not quite plain that the end will be good and 
pleasant: since before now untimely death, or poverty, or false accusation, or reverse of 
fortune, or other such things, of which there are many, have caused men after their long 
toil to be deprived of all its fruits. What is more, those who have such pursuits, though they 
succeed, it is no great gain which they will reap. For with the present life all those things are 
dissolved. But here, not for such fruitless and perishable things is our race, neither have we 
fears about the end; but greater and more secure is our hope after our departure hence. 
What pardon then can there be, what excuse for those who will not strip themselves for the 
evils to be endured for virtue’s sake? 

And do they yet ask, “Wherefore is the way narrow?” Why, thou dost not deem it right 
that any fornicator or lewd or drunken (kcxi tojv peGuovrcov inserted from the King’s ms.) 
person should enter into the courts of earthly kings; and claimest thou for men to be let into 
heaven itself with licentiousness, and luxury, and drunkenness, and covetousness, and all 
manner of iniquity? And how can these things be pardonable? 

[7.] “Nay,” you reply, “I say not that, but why has not virtue a “broad way?” In good 
truth if we be willing, its way is very easy. For whether is easier, tell me; to dig through a 
wall and take other men’s goods and so be cast into prison; or to be content with what you 
have and freed from all fear? I have not however said all. For whether is easier, tell me; to 
steal all men’s goods and revel in few of them for a short time, and then to be racked and 
scourged eternally; or having lived in righteous poverty for a short time, to live ever after 
in delights? (For let us not enquire as yet which is the more profitable, but for the present, 
which is the more easy.) Whether again is it pleasanter, to see a good dream and to be 
punished in reality; or after having had a disagreeable dream to be really in enjoyment? Of 
course the latter. Tell me then, In what sense dost thou call virtue harsh? I grant, it is harsh, 
tried by comparison with our carelessness. However, that it is really easy and smooth, hear 
what Christ saith, (St. Matt. xi. 30.) “My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” But if thou 
perceivest not the lightness, plainly it is for want of courageous zeal; since where that is, 
even heavy things are light; and by the same rule where it is not, even light things are heavy. 
For tell me, what could be sweeter and more easily obtained than the banquet of manna? 
Yet the Jews were discontented, though enjoying such delightful fare. What more bitter 
than hunger and all the other hardships which Paul endured? Yet he leaped up, and rejoiced, 
and said, (Col. i. 24.) “Now I rejoice in my sufferings.” What then is the cause? The difference 
of the mind. If then you frame this as it ought to be, you will see the easiness of virtue. 

“What then,” say you, “does she only become such through the mind of those who 
pursue her?” She is such, not from their mind alone, but by nature as well. Which I thus 
prove: If the one had been throughout a thing painful, the other throughout of the contrary 


Homily XIV 

sort, then with some plausibility might some fallen persons have said that the latter was 
easier than the former. But if they have their beginnings, the one in hardship, the other in 
pleasure, but their respective ends again just opposite to these; and if those ends be both 
infinite, in the one the pleasure, in the other the burthen; tell me, which is the more easy to 

“Why then do many not choose that which is easy?” Because some disbelieve; and others, 
who believe, have their judgment corrupt, and would prefer pleasure for a season to that 
which is everlasting. “Is not this then easy?” Not so: but this cometh of a sick soul. And as 
the reason why persons in a fever long after cool drink is not upon calculation that the mo- 
mentary luxury is pleasanter than being burned up from beginning to end, but because they 
cannot restrain their inordinate desire; so also these. Since if one brought them to their 
punishment at the very moment of their pleasure, assuredly they never would have chosen 
it. Thus you see in what sense vice is not an easy thing. 

[8.] But if you will, let us try this same point over again by an example in the proper 
subject matter. Tell me, for instance, which is pleasanter and easier? (only let us not take 
again the desire of the many for our rule in the matter; since one ought to decide, not by 
the sick, but by the whole; just as you might show me ten thousand men in a fever, seeking 
things unwholesome upon choice to suffer for it afterwards; but I should not allow such 
choice;) which, I repeat, brings more ease, tell me; to desire much wealth, or to be above 
that desire? For I, for my part, think the latter. If thou disbelieve it, let the argument be 
brought to the facts themselves. 

Let us then suppose one man desiring much, another nothing. Which now is the better 
state, tell me, and which the more respectable? However, let that pass. For this is agreed 
upon, that the latter is a finer character than the former. And we are making no enquiry 
about this at present, but which lives the easier and pleasanter life? Well then: the lover of 
money will not enjoy even what he has: for that which he loves he cannot choose to spend; 
but would gladly even carve (Karaxoijjeie) himself out, and part with his flesh rather than 
with his gold. But he that despises wealth, gains this the while, that he enjoys what he has 
quietly and with great security, and that he values himself more than it. Which then is the 
pleasanter; to enjoy what one has with freedom, or to live under a master, namely wealth, 
and not dare to touch a single thing even of one’s own? Why, it seemeth to me to be much 
the same as if any two men, having wives and loving them exceedingly, were not upon the 
same terms with them; but the one were allowed the presence and intercourse of his wife, 
the other not even permitted to come near his. 

There is another thing which I wish to mention, indicating the pleasure of the one and 
the discomfort of the other. He that is greedy of gain will never be stayed in that desire, not 
only because it is impossible, for him to obtain all men’s goods, but also because whatever 
he may have compassed, he counts himself to have nothing. But the despiser of riches will 


Homily XIV 

deem it all superfluous, and will not have to punish his soul with endless desires. I say, 
punish; for nothing so completely answers the definition of punishment as desire deprived 
of gratification; a thing too which especially marks his perverse mind. Look at it in this way. 
He that lusts after riches and hath increased his store, he is the sort of person to feel as if he 
had nothing. I ask then, what more complicated than this disease? And the strange thing is 
not this only, but that although having, he thinks he has not the very things which are in 
his hold, and as though he had them not he bewails himself. If he even get all men’s goods, 
his pain is but greater. And should he gain an hundred talents, he is vexed that he hath not 
received a thousand: and if he received a thousand; he is stung to the quick that it is not ten 
thousand: and if he receive ten thousand, he utterly bemoans himself ( KaraKOTnxrat ) because 
it is not ten times as much. And the acquisition of more to him becomes so much more 
poverty; for the more he receives so much the more he desires. So then, the more he receives, 
the more he becomes poor: since whoso desires more, is more truly poor. When then he 
hath an hundred talents, is he not very poor? 74 for he desires a thousand. When he hath got 
a thousand, then he becomes yet poorer. For it is no longer a thousand as before, but ten 
thousand that he professes himself to want. Now if you say that to wish and not to obtain 
is pleasure, you seem to me to be very ignorant of the nature of pleasure. 

[9.] To shew that this sort of thing is not pleasure but punishment, take another case, 
and so let us search it out. When we are thirsty, do we not therefore feel pleasure in drinking 
because we quench our thirst; and is it not therefore a pleasure to drink because it relieves 
us from a great torment, the desire, I mean, of drinking? Every one, I suppose, can tell. But 
were we always to remain in such a state of desire, we should be as badly off as the rich man 
in the parable of Lazarus for the matter of punishment; for his punishment was just this 
that vehemently desiring one little drop, he obtained it not. And this very thing all covetous 
persons seem to me continually to suffer, and to resemble him where he begs that he may 
obtain that drop, and obtains it not. For their soul is more on fire than his. 


Well indeed hath one said, that all lovers of money are in a sort of dropsy; for as they, 
bearing much water in their bodies, are the more burnt up: so also the covetous, bearing 
about with them great wealth, are greedy of more. The reason is that neither do the one 
keep the water in the parts of the body where it should be, nor the other their desire in the 
limits of becoming thought. 

Let us then flee this strange and craving (^evqv real Kevqv: a play on the sound of the 
words,) disease; let us flee the root of all evils; let us flee that which is present hell; for it is 
a hell, the desire of these things. Only just lay open the soul of each, of him who despises 

74 Savile reads this interrogatively, [as does also Dr. Field. C.] 

75 Crescit indulgens sibi dirus Hydrops, Nec sitim pellit, nisi causa morbi Fugerit venis, et aquosus albo corpore 
languor. Hor. Carm. ii. 2. 


Homily XIV 

wealth and of him who does not so; and you will see that the one is like the distracted, 
choosing neither to hear nor see any thing: the other, like a harbor free from waves: and he 
is the friend of all, as the other is the enemy. For whether one take any thing of his, it gives 
him no annoyance; or if whether, on the contrary, one give him aught, it puffs him not up; 
but there is a certain freedom about him with entire security. The one is forced to flatter 
and feign before all; the other, to no man. 

If now to be fond of money is to be both poor and timid and a dissembler and a hypocrite 
and to be full of fears and great penal anguish and chastisement: while he that despises 
wealth has all the contrary enjoyments: is it not quite plain that virtue is the more pleasant? 

Now we might have gone through all the other evils also whereby it is shewn that there 
is no vice which hath pleasure in it, had we not spoken before so much at large. 

Wherefore knowing these things, let us choose virtue; to the end that we may both enjoy 
such pleasure as is here, and may attain unto the blessings which are to come, through the 
grace and loving-kindness, &c. &c. 


Homily XV 

Homily XV. 

1 Cor. v. 1, 2 

It is actually reported that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not even 
named among the Gentiles, that one of you hath his father’s wife. And ye are puffed up, 
and did not rather mourn, that he that had done this deed might be taken away from 
among you. 

When he was discoursing about their divisions, he did not indeed at once address them 
vehemently, but more gently at first; and afterwards, he ended in accusation, saying thus, 
(c. 1. xi.) “For it hath been signified unto me concerning you, my brethren, by them which 
are of the household of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.” But in this place, not 
so; but he lays about him immediately and makes the reproach of the accusation as general 
as possible. For he said not, “Why did such an one commit fornication?” but, “It is reported 
that there is fornication among you;” that they might as persons altogether aloof from his 
charge take it easily; but might be filled with such anxiety as was natural when the whole 
body was wounded, and the Church had incurred reproach. “For no one,” saith he, “will 
state it thus, ‘such an one hath committed fornication,’ but, ‘in the Church of Corinthians 
that sin hath been committed.’” 

And he said not, “Fornication is perpetrated,” but, “Is reported, — such as is not even 
named among the Gentiles.” For so continually he makes the Gentiles a topic of reproach 
to the believers. Thus writing to the Thessalonians, he said, (1 Thess. iv. 4, 5, real upfj om. 
ra Aoura inserted.) “Let every one possess himself of his own vessel in sanctification, not in 
the passion of lust, even as the rest of the Gentiles.” And to the Colossians and Ephesians, 
(Ephes. iv. 1 7. cf. Col. iii. 6,7.) “That you should no longer walk, as the other Gentiles walk.” 
Now if their committing the same sins was unpardonable, when they even outdid the Gentiles, 
what place can we find for them? tell me: “inasmuch as among the Gentiles,” so he speaks, 
“not only they dare no such thing, but they do not even give it a name. Do you see to what 
point he aggravated his charge? For when they are convicted of inventing such modes of 
uncleanness as the unbelievers, so far from venturing on them, do not even know of, the 
sin must be exceeding great, beyond all words. And the clause, “among you,” is spoken also 
emphatically; that is, “Among you, the faithful, who have been favored with so high mysteries, 
the partakers of secrets, the guests invited to heaven.” Dost thou mark with what indignant 
feeling his works overflow? with what anger against all? For had it not been for the great 
wrath of which he was full, had he not been setting himself against them all, he would have 
spoken thus: “Having heard that such and such a person hath committed fornication, I 
charge you to punish him.” But as it is he doth not so; he rather challenges all at once. And 
indeed, if they had written first, this is what he probably would have said. Since however so 


Homily XV 

far from writing, they had even thrown the fault into the shade, on this account he orders 
his discourse more vehemently. 

[2.] “That one of you should have his father’s wife.” Wherefore said he not, “That he 
should abuse his father’s wife?” The extreme foulness of the deed caused him to shrink. He 
hurries by it accordingly, with a sort of scrupulousness as though it had been explicitly 
mentioned before. And hereby again he aggravates the charge, implying that such things 
are ventured on among them as even to speak plainly of was intolerable for Paul. Wherefore 
also, as he goes on, he uses the same mode of speech, saying, “Him who hath so done this 
thing:” and is again ashamed and blushes to speak out; which also we are wont to do in regard 
of matters extremely disgraceful. And he said not, “his step-mother,” but, “his father’s wife;” 
so as to strike much more severely. For when the mere terms are sufficient to convey the 
charge, he proceeds with them simply, adding nothing. 

And “tell me not,” saith he, “that the fornicator is but one: the charge hath become 
common to all.” Wherefore at once he added, “and ye are puffed up:” he said not, “with the 
sin;” for this would imply want of all reason: but with the doctrine you have heard from 
that person . This however he set not down himself, but left it undetermined, that he might 
inflict a heavier blow. 

And mark the good sense of Paul. Having first overthrown the wisdom from without, 
and signified that it is nothing by itself although no sin were associated with it; then and 
not till then he discourses about the sin also. For if by way of comparison with the fornicator 
who perhaps was some wise one, he had maintained the greatness of his own spiritual gift; 
he had done no great thing: but even when unattended with sin to take down the heathen 
wisdom and demonstrate it to be nothing, this was indicating its extreme worthlessness in- 
deed. Wherefore first, as I said, having made the comparison, he afterwards mentions the 
man’s sin also. 

And with him indeed he condescends not to debate, and thereby signifies the exceeding 
greatness of his dishonor. But to the others he saith, “You ought to weep and wail, and 
cover your faces, but now ye do the contrary.” And this is the force of the next clause, “And 
ye are puffed up, and did not rather mourn.” 

“And why are we to weep?” some might say. Because the reproach hath made its way 
even unto the whole body of your Church. “And what good are we to get by our weeping?” 

76 S. Aug. cont. Parm. iii. 5. gives their “glorying” a different turn; saying, (with especial reference to v. 6.) 
“To glory, not for their own sins, but over other men’s sins, as in comparison with their own innocence, may 
seem but ‘a little leaven;’ while to boast even of one’s iniquities is much leaven: however, this also ‘leaveneth the 
whole lump.’” [Perhaps the phrase refers merely to their general elation at their good estate, notwithstanding 
their toleration of so great an offence. C.] 


Homily XV 

“That such an one should be taken away from you.” Not even here doth he mention his 
name; rather, I should say, not any where; which in all monstrous things is our usual way. 

And he said not, “Ye have not rather cast him out,” but, as in the case of any disease or 
pestilence, “there is need of mourning,” saith he, “and of intense supplication, ‘that he may 
be taken away.’ And you should have used prayer for this, and left nothing undone that he 
should be cut off.” 

Nor yet doth he accuse them for not having given him information, but for not having 
mourned so that the man should be taken away; implying that even without their Teacher 
this ought to have been done, because of the notoriety of the offence. 

[3.] Ver. 3. “For I verily being absent in body, but present in spirit.” 

Mark his energy. He suffers them not even to wait for his presence, nor to receive him 
first and then pass the sentence of binding: but as if on the point of expelling some contagion 
before that it have spread itself into the rest of the body, he hastens to restrain it. And 
therefore he subjoins the clause, “I have judged already, as though I were present.” These 
things moreover he said, not only to urge them unto the declaration of their sentence and 
to give them no opportunity of contriving something else, but also to frighten them, as one 
who knew what was to be done and determined there. For this is the meaning of being 
“present in spirit:” as Elisha was present with Gehazi, and said, “Went not my heart with 
thee? (2 Kings v. 26.) Wonderful! How great is the power of the gift, in that it makes all to 
be together and as one; and qualifies them to know the things which are far off. “I have 
judged already as though I were present.” 

He permits them not to have any other device. “Now I have uttered my decision as if I 
were present: let there be no delays and puttings off: for nothing else must be done.” 

Then lest he should be thought too authoritative and his speech sound rather self-willed, 
mark how he makes them also partners in the sentence. For having said, “I have judged,” 
he adds, “concerning him that hath so wrought this thing, in the Name of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, ye being gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
to deliver such an one unto Satan. 

Now what means, “In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ?” “According to God;” “not 
possessed with any human prejudice.” 

Some, however, read thus, “Him that hath so wrought this thing in the name of our 
Lord Jesus Christ,” and putting a stop there or a break, then subjoin what follows, saying, 
“When you are gathered together and my spirit to deliver such an one unto Satan:” and they 
assert that the sense of this reading is as follows, “Him that hath done this thing in the Name 
of Christ,” saith St. Paul, “deliver ye unto Satan;” that is, “him that hath done insult unto 
the Name of Christ, him that, after he had become a believer and was called after that appel- 
lation, hath dared to do such things, deliver ye unto Satan.” But to me the former exposition 
(skSooic;. It seems to mean “enunciation.”) appears the truer. 


Homily XV 

What then is this? “When ye are gathered together in the Name of the Lord.” That is; 
His Name, in whose behalf ye have met, collecting you together. 

“And my spirit.” Again he sets himself at their head in order that when they should pass 
sentence, they might no otherwise cut off the offender than as if he were present; and that 
no one might dare to judge him pardonable, knowing that Paul would be aware of the pro- 

[4.] Then making it yet more awful, he saith, “with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ;” 
that is, either that Christ is able to give you such grace as that you should have power to 
deliver him to the devil; or that He is Himself together with you passing that sentence against 

And he said not, “Give up” such an one to Satan, but “deliver;” opening unto him the 
doors of repentance, and delivering up such an one as it were to a schoolmaster. And again 
it is, “such an one:” he no where can endure to make mention of his name. 

“For the destruction of the flesh.” As was done in the case of the blessed Job, but not 
upon the same ground. For in that case it was for brighter crowns, but here for loosing of 
sins; that he might scourge him with a grievous sore or some other disease. True it is that 
elsewhere he saith, “Of the Lord are we judged, (1 Cor. xi. 32.) when we suffer these things.” 
But here, desirous of making them feel it more severely, he “delivereth up unto Satan.” And 
so this too which God had determined ensued, that the man’s flesh was chastised. For because 
inordinate eating and carnal luxuriousness are the parents of desires, it is the flesh which 
he chastises. 

“That the spirit maybe saved in the day of the Lord Jesus;” that is the soul. Not as though 
this were saved alone, but because it was a settled point that if that were saved, without all 
controversy the body too would partake in its salvation. For as it became mortal because of 
the soul’s sinning: so if this do righteousness, that also on the other hand shall enjoy great 

But some maintain, that “the Spirit” is the Gracious Gift which is extinguished when 
we sin. “In order then that this may not happen,” saith he, “let him be punished; that thereby 
becoming better, he may draw down to himself God’s grace, and be found having it safe in 
that day.” So that all comes as from one exercising a nurse’s or a physician’s office, not 
merely scourging nor punishing rashly and at random. For the gain is greater than the 
punishment: one being but for a season, the other everlasting. 

And he said not simply, “That the spirit may be saved,” but “in that day.” Well and 
seasonably doth he remind them of that day in order that both they might more readily 
apply themselves to the cure, and that the person censured might the rather receive his 
words, not as it were of anger, but as the forethought of an anxious father. For this cause 
also he said, “unto the destruction of the flesh:” proceeding to lay down regulations for the 


Homily XV 

devil and not suffering him to go a step too far. As in the instance of Job, God said, (Job ii. 
6.) “But touch not his life.” 

[5.] Then, having ended his sentence, and spoken it in brief without dwelling on it, he 
brings in again a rebuke, directing himself against them; 

Ver. 6. “Your glorying is not good:” signifying that it was they up to the present time 
who had hindered him from repenting, by taking pride in him. Next he shews that he is 
taking this step in order to spare not that person only, but also those to whom he writes. To 
which effect he adds, 

“Know ye not, that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” “For,” saith he, “though 
the offence be his, yet if neglected it hath power to waste the rest of the body of the Church 
also. For when the first transgressor escapes punishment, speedily will others also commit 
the same faults.” 

In these words he indicates moreover that their struggle and their danger is for the 
whole Church, not for any one person. For which purpose he needeth also the similitude 
of the leaven. For “as that,” saith he, “though it be but little, transforms unto its own nature 
the whole lump; so also this man, if he be let go unpunished and this sin turn out unavenged, 
will corrupt likewise all the rest.” 

Ver. 7. “Purge out the old leaven,” that is, this evil one. Not that he speaketh concerning 
this one only; rather he glances at others with him. For, “the old leaven” is not fornication 
only, but also sin of every kind. And he said not, “purge,” but “purge out;” “cleanse with 
accuracy so that there be not so much as a remnant nor a shadow of that sort.” In saying 
then, “purge out,” he signifies that there was still iniquity among them. But in saying, “that 
ye may be a new lump, even as ye are unleavened,” he affirms and declares that not over 
very many was the wickedness prevailing. But though he saith, “as ye are unleavened,” he 
means it not as a fact that all were clean, but as to what sort of people you ought to be. 

[6.] “For our Passover also hath been sacrificed for us, even Christ; wherefore let us 
keep the feast: not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with 
the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” So also Christ called His doctrine Leaven. And 
further he himself dwells upon the metaphor, reminding them of an ancient history, and 
of the Passover and unleavened bread, and of their blessings both then and now, and their 
punishments and their plagues. 

It is festival, therefore, the whole time in which we live. For though he said, “Let us 
keep the feast,” not with a view to the presence of the Passover or of Pentecost did he say 
it; but as pointing out that the whole of time is a festival unto Christians, because of the ex- 
cellency of the good things which have been given. For what hath not come to pass that is 
good? The Son of God was made man for thee; He freed thee from death; and called thee 
to a kingdom. Thou therefore who hast obtained and art still obtaining such things, how 


Homily XV 

can it be less than thy duty to “keep the feast” all thy life? Let no one then be downcast about 
poverty, and disease, and craft of enemies. For it is a festival, even the whole of our time. 
Wherefore saith Paul, (Philip, iv. 4.) “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, Rejoice.” Upon 
the festival days no one puts on filthy garments. Neither then let us do so. For a marriage 
hath been made, a spiritual marriage. For, “the kingdom of Heaven,” saith He, “is likened 
unto a certain king which would make (St. Matt. xxii. 1 . qBeAqae Ttotfjaai, rec. text £iio(r|G£.) 
a marriage feast for his son.” Now where it is a king making a marriage, and a marriage for 
his son, what can be greater than this feast? Let no one then enter in clad in rags. Not about 
garments is our discourse but about unclean actions. For if where all wore bright apparel 
one alone, being found at the marriage in filthy garments, was cast out with dishonor, con- 
sider how great strictness and purity the entrance into that marriage feast requires. 

[7.] However, not on this account only does he remind them of the “unleavened bread,” 
but also to point out the affinity of the Old Testament with the New; and to point out also 
that it was impossible, after the “unleavened bread,” again to enter into Egypt; but if any 
one chose to return, he would suffer the same things as did they. For those things were a 
shadow of these; however obstinate the Jew may be. Wherefore shouldest thou enquire of 
him, he will speak, no great thing, rather it is great which he will speak of, but nothing like 
what we speak of: because he knows not the truth. For he for his part will say, “the Egyptians 
who detained us were so changed by the Almighty that they themselves urged and drave us 
out, who before held us forcibly; they did not suffer us so much as to leaven our dough.” 
But if a man asketh me, he shall hear not of Egypt nor of Pharaoh; but of our deliverance 
from the deceit of demons and the darkness of the devil: not of Moses but of the Son of God; 
not of a Red Sea but of a Baptism overflowing with ten thousand blessings, where the “old 
man” is drowned. 

Again, shouldest thou ask the Jew why he expels all leaven from all his borders; here he 
will even be silent and will not so much as state any reason. And this is because, although 
some indeed of the circumstances were both types of things to come, and also due to things 
then happening; yet others were not so, that the Jews might not deal deceitfully; that they 
might not abide in the shadow. For tell me, what is the meaning of the Lamb’s being a 
“Male,” and “Unblemished,” and a “year old,” and of, “a bone shall not be broken?” and 
what means the command to call the neighbors also, (Exod. xii. 4.) and that it should be 
eaten “standing” and “in the evening;” or the fortifying the house with blood? He will have 
nothing else to say but over and over all about Egypt. But I can tell you the meaning both 
of the Blood, and of the Evening, and the Eating all together, and of the rule that all should 
be standing. 

[8.] But first let us explain why the leaven is cast out of all their borders. What then is 
the hidden meaning? The believer must be freed from all iniquity. For as among them he 
perishes with whomsoever is found old leaven, so also with us wheresoever is found iniquity: 


Homily XV 

since of course the punishment being so great in that which is a shadow, in our case it cannot 
choose but be much greater. For if they so carefully clear their houses of leaven , and pry 
into mouse-holes; much more ought we to search through the soul so as to cast out every 
unclean thought. 

This however was done by them of late ; but now no longer. For every where there is 
leaven, where a Jew is found. For it is in the midst of cities that the feast of unleavened bread 
is kept: a thing which is now rather a game at play than a law. For since the Truth is come, 
the Types have no longer any place. 

So that by means of this example also he mightily drives the fornicator out of the Church. 
For, saith he, so far from his presence profiting, he even doth harm, injuring the common 
estate of the body. For one knows not whence is the evil savor while the corrupt part is 
concealed, and so one imputes it to the whole. Wherefore he urges upon them strongly to 
“purge out the leaven, that ye may be,” saith he, “a new lump, even as ye are unleavened.” 

“For our Passover hath been sacrificed for us even Christ.” He said not, hath died, but 
more in point to the subject in hand, “hath been sacrificed.” Seeknot then unleavened bread 
of this kind, since neither hast thou a lamb of the same kind. Seek not leaven of this descrip- 
tion, seeing that thine unleavened bread is not such as this. 

[9.] Thus, in the case of material leaven, the unleavened might become leavened, but 
never the reverse; whereas here there is a chance of the direct contrary occuring. This however 
he has not plainly declared: and observe his good sense. In the former Epistle he gives the 
fornicator no hope of return, but orders that his whole life should be spent in repentance, 
lest he should make him less energetic through the promise. For he said not, “Deliver him 
up to Satan,” that having repented he might be commended again unto the Church. But 
what saith he? “That he may be saved in the last day.” For he conducts him on unto that 
time in order to make him full of anxiety. And what favors he intended him after the repent- 
ance, he reveals not, imitating his own Master. For as God saith, (Jonah iii. 4. lxx: rec. text, 

77 Lightfoot, Works, i. 953. “‘Seven days there shall be no leaven found in your houses.’ The Jews to meet this 
command that was so exceeding strict, and to make sure for its observance soon enough, ‘did on the fourteenth 
day, while yet there was some light, make search for leaven by the light of a candle.’ ( Talm . in Pesachim. no. 1.) 
Thus is the Tradition; in which by the light of the fourteenth day their glossaries tell us that we must understand 
the ‘thirteenth day at even, when it began to be duskish and candle-light.’ The rubric of the Passover in the 
Hebrew and Spanish tongues renders it, ‘At the entrance of the fourteenth day of the month Nisan, they searched 
for leaven in all the places where they were wont to use leaven, even in holes and crannies; and that not by light 
of the sun and moon, or torch, but by the light of a wax candle,’ . . . because it is the fittest for searching holes and 
corners, and because the Scripture speaketh of searching Jerusalem with candles.” See Zeph. i. 12. 

78 i.e. (as it should seem) it has now become impossible for the Jews to keep this command, since they and 
their false doctrine are (spiritually) that very leaven, which is to be put away. Compare St. Matt. xvi. 6. 


Homily XV 

“forty days.”) “Yet three days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown,” and added not, “but if she 
repent she shall be saved:” so also he did not say here, “But if he repent worthily, we will 
‘confirm our love towards him.’” (2 Cor. ii. 8.). But he waits for him to do the work that so 
he may then receive the favor. For if he had said this at the beginning he might have set him 
free from the fear. Wherefore he not only does not so, but by the instance of leaven allows 
him not even a hope of return, but reserves him unto that day: “Purge out (so he says) the 
old leaven;” and, “let us not keep the feast with old leaven.” But as soon as he had repented, 
he brought him in again with all earnestness. 

[10.] But why does he call it “old?” Either because our former life was of this sort, or 
because that which is old is “ready to vanish away,” (Heb. viii. 13.) and is unsavory and foul; 
which is the nature of sin. For He neither simply finds fault with the old, nor simply praises 
the new, but with reference to the subject matter. And thus elsewhere He saith, (Ecclus. ix. 
15.) “New wine is as a new friend: but if it become old, then with pleasure shalt thou drink 
it:” in the case of friendship bestowing his praise rather upon the old than the new. And 
again, “The Ancient of days sat,” (Dan. vii. 9.) here again, taking the term “ancient” as among 
those laudatory expressions which confer highest glory. Elsewhere the Scripture takes the 
term “old” in the sense of blame; for seeing that the things are of various aspect as being 
composed of many parts, it uses the same words both in a good and an evil import, not ac- 
cording to the same shade of meaning. Of which you may see an instance in the blame cast 
elsewhere on the old: (Ps. xvii. 46. ap. LXX.) “They waxed old, and they halted from their 
paths.” And again, (Ps. vi. 7. ap. LXX.) “I have become old in the midst of all mine enemies.” 
And again, (Dan. xiii. 52. Hist. Susan.) “O thou that art become old in evil days.” So also 
the “Leaven” is often taken for the kingdom of Heaven, although here found fault with. But 
in that place it is used with one aspect, and in this with another. 

[11.] But I have a strong conviction that the saying about the leaven refers also to the 
priests who suffer a vast deal of the old leaven to be within, not purging out from their 
borders, that is, out of the Church, the covetous, the extortioners, and whatsoever would 
exclude from the kingdom of Heaven. For surely covetousness is an “old leaven;” and 
whenever it lights and into whatsoever house it enters, makes it unclean: and though you 
may gain but little by your injustice, it leavens the whole of your substance. Wherefore not 
seldom the dishonest gain being little, hath cast out the stock honestly laid up however 
abundant. For nothing is more rotten than covetousness. You may fasten up that man’s 
closet with key, and door, and bolt: you do all in vain, whilst you shut up within covetousness, 
the worst of robbers, and able to carry off all. 

“But what,” say you, “if there are many covetous who do not experience this?” In the 
first place, they will experience it, though their experience come not immediately. And 
should they now escape, then do thou fear it the more: for they are reserved for greater 
punishment. Add to this, that in the event of themselves escaping, yet those who inherit 


Homily XV 

their wealth will have the same to endure. “But how can this be just,” you will say? It is quite 
just. For he that has succeeded to an inheritance; full of injustice, though he have committed 
no rapine himself, detains nevertheless the property of others; and is perfectly aware of this; 
and it is fair he should suffer for it. For if this or that person had robbed and you received 
a thing, and then the owner came and demanded it back; would it avail you in defence to 
say that you had not seized it? By no means. For what would be your plea when accused! 
tell me. That it was another who seized it? Well: but you are keeping possession. That it was 
he who robbed? But you are enjoying it. Why these rules even the laws of the heathen recog- 
nise, which acquitting those who have seized and stolen, bid you demand satisfaction from 
those persons in whose possession you happen to find your things all laid up. 

If then you know who are the injured, restore and do what Zacchaeus did, with much 
increase. But if you know not, I offer you another way yet; I do not preclude you from the 
remedy. Distribute all these things to the poor: and thus you will mitigate the evil. 

But if some have transmitted these things even to children and descendants, still in re- 
tribution they have suffered other disasters. 

[12.] And why speak I of things in this present life? In that day at any rate will none of 
these things be said, when both appear naked, both the spoiled and the spoilers. Or rather 
not alike naked. Of riches indeed both will be equally stripped; but the one will be full of 
the charges to which they gave occasion. What then shall we do on that day, when before 
the dread tribunal he that hath been evil entreated and lost his all is brought forward into 
the midst, and you have no one to speak a word for you? What will you say to the Judge? 
Now indeed you may be able even to corrupt the judgment, being but of men; but in that 
court and at that time, it will be no longer so: no, nor yet now will you be able. For even at 
this moment that tribunal is present: since God both seeth our doings and is near unto the 
injured, though not invoked: it being certain that whoever suffers wrong, however in himself 
unworthy to obtain any redress, yet nevertheless seeing that what is done pleases not God, 
he hath most assuredly one to avenge him. 

“How then,” you will say, “is such an one well off, who is wicked?” Nay, it will not be 
so unto the end. Hear what saith the Prophet; (Ps. xxxvii. 1, 2.) “Fret not thyself because of 
the evil doers, because as grass they shall quickly wither away.” For where, tell me, where is 
he who wrought rapine, after his departure hence? Where are his bright hopes! Where his 
august name? Are they not all passed and gone? Is it not a dream and a shadow, all that was 
his? And this you must expect in the case of every such person, both in his own person while 
living, and in that of him who shall come after him. But not such is the state of the saints, 
nor will it be possible for you to say the same things in their case also, that it is shadow and 
a dream and a tale, what belongs to them. 

[13.] And ifyou please, he who spake these things, the tent-maker, the Cilician, the man 
whose very parentage is unknown, let him be the example we produce. You will say, “How 


Homily XV 

is it possible to become such as he was?” Do you then thoroughly desire it? Are you thor- 
oughly anxious to become such? “Yes,” you will say. Well then, go the same way as he went 
and they that were with him. Now what way went he? One saith, (2 Cor. xi. 27.) “In hunger, 
and thirst, and nakedness.” Another, (Acts iii. 6.) “Silver and gold I have none.” Thus they 
“had nothing and yet possessed all things.” (2 Cor. vi. 10.) What can be nobler than this 
saying? what more blessed or more abundant in riches? Others indeed pride themselves on 
the contrary things, saying, “I have this or that number of talents of gold, and acres of land 
without end, and houses, and slaves;” but this man on his being naked of all things; and he 
shrinks not from poverty, (which is the feeling of the unwise,) nor hides his face, but he 
even wears it as an ornament. 

Where now be the rich men, they who count up their interest simple and compound, 
they who take from all men and are never satisfied? Have ye heard the voice of Peter, that 
voice which sets forth poverty as the mother of wealth? That voice which has nothing, yet 
is wealthier than those who wear diadems? For this is that voice, which having nothing, 
raised the dead, and set upright the lame, and drove away devils, and bestowed such gracious 
gifts, as those who are clad in the purple robe and lead the mighty and terrible legions never 
were able to bestow. This is the voice of those who are now removed into heaven, of those 
who have attained unto that height. 

[14.] Thus it is possible that he who hath nothing may possess all men’s goods. Thus 
may he who possesses nothing acquire the goods of all: whereas, were we to get all men’s 
goods, we are bereft of all. Perhaps this saying seems to be a paradox; but it is not. “But,” 
you will say, “how does he who hath nothing possess all men’s goods? Doth he not have 
much more who hath what belongs to all?” By no means: but the contrary. For he who hath 
nothing commands all, even as they did. And throughout the world all houses were open 
to them, and they who offered them took their coming as a favor, and they came to them 
as to friends and kindred. For so they came to the woman who was a seller of purple, (Acts 
xvi. 14.) and she like a servant set before them what she had. And to the keeper of the prison; 
and he opened to them all his house. And to innumerable others. Thus they had all things 
and had nothing: for (Acts iv. 32.) “they said that none of the things which they possessed 
was their own;” therefore all things were theirs. For he that considers all things to be common, 
will not only use his own, but also the things of others as if they belonged to him. But he 
that parts things off and sets himself as master over his own only, will not be master even 
of these. And this is plain from an example. He who possesses nothing at all, neither house, 
nor table, nor garment to spare, but for God’s sake is bereft of all, uses the things which are 
in common as his own; and he shall receive from all whatsoever he may desire, and thus he 
that hath nothing possesses the things of all. But he that hath some things, will not be master 
even of these. For first, no one will give to him that hath possessions; and, secondly, his 
property shall belong to robbers and thieves and informers and changing events and be any 


Homily XV 

body’s rather than his. Paul, for instance, went up and down throughout all the world, car- 
rying nothing with him, though he went neither unto friends nor kindred. Nay, at first he 
was a common enemy to all: but nevertheless he had all men’s goods after he had made 
good his entrance. But Ananias and Sapphira, hastening to gain a little more than their own, 
lost all together with life itself. Withdraw then from thine own, that thou mayest use others’ 
goods as thine own. 

[15.] But I must stop: I know not how I have been carried into such a transport in 
speaking such words as these unto men who think it a great thing to impart but ever so little 
of their own. Wherefore let these my words have been spoken to the perfect. But to the more 
imperfect, this is what we may say, Give of what you have unto the needy. Increase your 
substance. For, saith He, (Prov. xix. 17.) “He that giveth unto the poor, lendeth unto God.” 
But if you are in a hurry and wait not for the time of recompense, think of those who lend 
money to men: for not even these desire to get their interest immediately; but they are 
anxious that the principal should remain a good long while in the hands of the borrower, 
provided only the repayment be secure and they have no mistrust of the borrower. Let this 
be done then in the present case also. Leave them with God that He may pay thee thy wages 
manifold. Seek not to have the whole here; for if you recover it all here, how will you receive 
it back there? And it is on this account that God stores them up there, inasmuch as this 
present life is full of decay. But He gives even here also; for, “Seek ye,” saith He, “the kingdom 
of heaven, and all these things shall be added unto you.” (St. Matt. vi. 33.) Well then, let us 
look towards the kingdom, and not be in a hurry for the repayment of the whole, lest we 
diminish our recompense. But let us wait for the fit season. For the interest in these cases 
is not of that kind, but is such as is meet to be given to God. This then having collected to- 
gether in great abundance, so let us depart hence, that we may obtain both the present and 
the future blessings; through the grace and loving-kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, with 
Whom unto the Father and the Holy Spirit be glory, power, honor, now, henceforth, and 
for evermore. Amen. 


Homily XVI 

Homily XVI. 

1 Cor. v. 9-11 

I wrote unto you in my epistle to have no company with fornicators: yet not altogether with 
the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous and extortioners, or with idolaters, for 
then must ye needs go out of the world: but now I write unto you not to keep company, if 
any man that is named a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a drunkard, 
or a reviler, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. 

For since he had said, “Ye have not rather mourned, that such an one should be taken 
away;” and, “Purge out the old leaven;” and it was likely that they would surmise it to be 
their duty to avoid all fornicators: for if he that has sinned imparts some of his own mischief 
to those who have not sinned, much more is it meet to keep one’s self away from those 
without: (for if one ought not to spare a friend on account of such mischief arising from 
him, much less any others;) and under this impression, it was probable that they would 
separate themselves from the fornicators among the Greeks also, and the matter thus turning 
out impossible, they would have taken it more to heart: he used this mode of correction, 
saying, “I wrote unto you to have no company with fornicators, yet not altogether with the 
fornicators of this world:” using the word “altogether,” as if it were an acknowledged thing. 
For that they might not think that he charged not this upon them as being rather imperfect, 
and should attempt to do it under the erroneous impression that they were perfect, he shews 
that this were even impossible to be done, though they wished it ever so much. For it would 
be necessary to seek another world. Wherefore he added, “For ye must needs then go out 
of the world.” Seest thou that he is no hard master, and that in his legislation he constantly 
regards not only what maybe done, but also what maybe easily done. For how is it possible, 
says he, for a man having care of a house and children, and engaged in the affairs of the city, 
or who is an artisan or a soldier, (the greater part of mankind being Greeks,) to avoid the 
unclean who are to be found every where? For by “the fornicators of the world,” he means 
those who are among the Greeks. “But now I write unto you, If any brother” be of this kind, 
“with such an one no not to eat.” Here also he glances at others who were living in wicked- 

But how can one “that is a brother” be an idolater? As was the case once in regard to 
the Samaritans who chose piety but by halves. And besides he is laying down his ground 
beforehand for the discourse concerning things offered in sacrifice to idols, which after this 
he intends to handle. 

“Or covetous.” For with these also he enters into conflict. Wherefore he said also, “Why 
not rather take wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? Nay, ye yourselves do wrong and de- 


Homily XVI 

“Or a drunkard.” For this also he lays to their charge further on; as when he says, “One 
is hungry and another is drunken:” and, “meats for the belly and the belly for meats.” 

“Or a reviler, or an extortioner:” for these too he had rebuked before. 

[2.] Next he adds also the reason why he forbids them not to mix with heathens of that 
character, implying that it is not only impossible, but also superfluous. 

Ver. 12, “For what have I to do with judging them that are without?” Calling the 
Christians and the Greeks, “those within” and “those without,” as also he says elsewhere, ( 1 
Tim. iii. 7.) “He must also have a good report of them that are without.” And in the Epistle 
to the Thessalonians he speaks the same language, saying, (2 Thess. iii. 14.) “Have no inter- 
course with him to the end that he maybe put to shame.” And, “Count him not as an enemy, 
but admonish him as a brother.” Here, however, he does not add the reason. Why? Because 
in the other case he wished to soothe them, but in this, not so. For the fault in this case and 
in that was not the same, but in the Thessalonians it was less. For there he is reproving in- 
dolence; but here fornication and other most grievous sins. And if any one wished to go 
over to the Greeks, he hinders not him from eating with such persons; this too for the same 
reason. So also do we act; for our children and our brethren we leave nothing undone, but 
of strangers we do not make much account. How then? Did not Paul care for them that 
were without as well? Yes, he cared for them; but it was not till after they received the Gospel 
and he had made them subject to the doctrine of Christ, that he laid down laws for them. 
But so long as they despised, it was superfluous to speak the precepts of Christ to those who 
knew not Christ Himself. 

“Do not ye judge them that are within, whereas them that are without, God judgeth?” 
For since he had said, “What have I to do with judging those without;” lest any one should 
think that these were left unpunished, there is another tribunal which he sets over them, 
and that a fearful one. And this he said, both to terrify those, and to console these; intimating 
also that this punishment which is for a season snatches them away from that which is un- 
dying and perpetual: which also he has plainly declared elsewhere, saying, (1 Cor. xi. 32.) 
“But now being judged, we are chastened, that we should not be condemned with the world.” 
[3.] “Put away from among yourselves the wicked person.” He used an expression found 
in the Old Testament, (Deut. xvii. 7.) partly hinting that they too will be very great gainers, 
in being freed as it were from some grievous plague; and partly to shew that this kind of 
thing is no innovation, but even from the beginning it seemed good to the legislator that 
such as these should be cut off. But in that instance it was done with more severity, in this 
with more gentleness. On which account one might reasonably question, why in that case 
he conceded that the sinner should be severely punished and stoned, but in the present in- 
stance not so; rather he leads him to repentance. Why then were the lines drawn in the 
former instance one way and in the latter another? For these two causes: one, because these 
were led into a greater trial and needed greater long-suffering; the other and truer one, be- 


Homily XVI 

cause these by their impunity were more easily to be corrected, coming as they might to 
repentance; but the others were likely to go on to greater wickedness. For if when they saw 
the first undergoing punishment they persisted in the same things, had none at all been 
punished, much more would this have been their feeling. For which reason in that dispens- 
ation death is immediately inflicted upon the adulterer and the manslayer; but in this, if 
through repentance they are absolved, they have escaped the punishment. However, both 
here one may see some instances of heavier punishment, and in the Old Testament some 
less severe, in order that it may be signified in every way that the covenants are akin to each 
other, and of one and the same lawgiver: and you may see the punishment following imme- 
diately both in that covenant and in this, and in both often after a long interval. Nay, and 
oftentimes not even after a long interval, repentance alone being taken as satisfaction by the 
Almighty. Thus in the Old Testament, David, who had committed adultery and murder, 
was saved by means of repentance; and in the New, Ananias, who withdrew but a small 
portion of the price of the land, perished together with his wife. Now if these instances are 
more frequent in the Old Testament, and those of the contrary kind in the New, the difference 
of the persons produces the difference in the treatment adopted in such matters. 

[4.] C. vi. ver. 1 . “Dare any one of you, having a matter against his brother, (rov aSsAcpov, 
rec. text rov erepov.) go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints?” 

Here also he again makes his complaint upon acknowledged grounds; for in that other 
place he says, “It is actually reported that there is fornication among you.” And in this place, 
“Dare any one of you?” From the very first outset giving signs of his anger, and implying 
that the thing spoken of comes of a daring and lawless spirit. 

Now wherefore did he bring in by the way that discourse about covetousness and about 
the duty of not going to law without the Church? In fulfilment of his own rule. For it is a 
custom with him to set to right things as they fall in his way; just as when speaking about 
the tables which they used in common, he launched out into the discourse about the mys- 
teries. So here, you see, since he had made mention of covetous brethren, burning with 
anxiety to correct those in sin, he brooks not exactly to observe order; but he again corrects 
the sin which had been introduced out of the regular course, and so returns to the former 

Let us hear then what he also says about this. “Dare any of you, having a matter, go to 
law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints?” For a while, he employs those per- 
sonal terms to expose, discredit, and blame their proceedings: nor does he quite from the 
beginning subvert the custom of seeking judgment before the believers: but when he had 
stricken them down by many words, then he even takes away entirely all going to law. “For 
in the first place,” says he, “if one must go to law it were wrong to do so before the unright- 
eous. But you ought not to go to law at all.” This however he adds afterwards. For the present 
he thoroughly sifts the former subject, namely, that they should not submit matters to ex- 


Homily XVI 

ternal arbitration. “For,” says he, “how can it be otherwise than absurd that one who is at 
variance (piKpoiJmxouTa) with his friend should take his enemy to be a reconciler between 
them? And how can you avoid feeling shame and blushing when a Greek sits to judge a 
Christian? And if about private matters it is not right to go to law before Greeks, how shall 
we submit to their decisions about other things of greater importance?” 

Observe, moreover, how he speaks. He says not, “Before the unbelievers,” but, “Before 
the unrighteous;” using the expression of which he had most particular need for the matter 
before him, in order to deter and keep them away. For see that his discourse was about going 
to law, and those who are engaged in suits seek for nothing so much as that the judges should 
feel great interest about what is just; he takes this as a ground of dissuasion, all but saying, 
“Where are you going? What are you doing, O man, bringing on yourself the contrary to 
what you wish, and in order to obtain justice committing yourself to unjust men?” And 
because it would have been intolerable to be told at once not to go to law, he did not imme- 
diately add this, but only changed the judges, bringing the party engaged in the trial from 
without into the Church. 

[5.] Then, since it seemed easily open to contempt, I mean our being judged by those 
who were within, and especially at that time, (for they were not perhaps competent to 
comprehend a point, nor were they such as the heathen judges, well skilled in laws and 
rhetoric, inasmuch as the greater part of them were uneducated men,) mark how he makes 
them worthy of credit, first calling them “Saints.” 

But seeing that this bore witness to purity of life, and not to accuracy in hearing a case, 
observe how he orderly handles this part also, saying thus, “Do ye not know that the saints 
shall judge the world?” How then canst thou who art in thy day to judge them, endure to 
be judged by them now? They will not indeed judge, taking their seat in person and demand- 
ing account, yet they shall condemn. This at least he plainly said; “And if the world is judged 
in you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?” He says not “by you,” but “in you:” 
just as when He said, (St. Matt. xii. 42.) “The queen of the south shall rise up and condemn 
this generation:” and, “The men of Nineveh shall arise and condemn this generation.” For 
when beholding the same sun and sharing all the same things, we shall be found believers 
but they unbelievers, they will not be able to take refuge in ignorance. For we shall accuse 
them, simply by the things which we have done. And many such ways of judgment one will 
find there. 

Then, that no one should think he speaks about other persons, mark how he generalizes 
his speech. “And if the world is judged in you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?” 

The thing is a disgrace to you, he says, and an unspeakable reproach. For since it was 
likely that they would be out of countenance at being judged by those that were within; 
“nay,” saith he, “on the contrary, the disgrace is when you are judged by those without: for 
those are the very small controversies, not these.” 


Homily XVI 

Ver. 3. “Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more, things which pertain 
to this life?” 

Some say that here the priests are hinted at, but away with this. His speech is about 
demons. For had he been speaking about corrupt priests, he would have meant them above 
when he said, “the world is judged in you:” (for the Scripture is wont to call evil men also 
“The world:”) and he would not have said the same thing twice, nor would he, as if he was 
saying something of greater consequence, have put it down afterwards. But he speaks con- 
cerning those angels about whom Christ saith, “Depart ye into the fire which is prepared 
for the devil and his angels.” (St. Matt. xxv. 41.) And Paul, “his angels fashion themselves 
as ministers of righteousness.” (2 Cor. xi. 15.) For when the very incorporeal powers shall 
be found inferior to us who are clothed with flesh, they shall suffer heavier punishment. 

But if some should still contend that he speaks of priests, “What sort of priests?” let us 
ask. Those whose walk in life has been worldly, of course. In what sense then does he say, 
“We shall judge angels, much more things that relate to this life?” He mentions the angels, 
in contradistinction to “things relating to this life”: likely enough; for they are removed from 
the need of these things, because of the superior excellence of their nature. 

[6.] Ver. 4. “If then ye have to judge things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who 


are of no account in the Church.” 

Wishing to instruct us as forcibly as possible that they ought not to commit themselves 
to those without, whatsoever the matter maybe; having raised what seemed to be an objec- 
tion, he answers it in the first instance. For what he says is something like this: Perhaps some 
one will say, “No one among you is wise, nor competent to pass sentence; all are contempt- 
ible.” Now what follows? “Even though none be wise,” says he, “I bid you entrust things to 
those who are of least weight.” 

Ver. 5. “But this I say to move you to shame.” These are the words of one exposing their 
objection as being an idle pretext: and therefore he adds, “Is it so that there is not a wise 
man among you, no not even one?” Is the scarcity, says he, so great? so great the want of 
sensible persons among you? And what he subjoins strikes even still harder. For having said, 
“Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one?” he adds, “who shall be able 
to judge in the case of his brother.” For when brother goes to law with brother, there is 
never any need of understanding and talent in the person who is mediating in the cause, 
the feeling and relationship contributing greatly to the settlement of such a quarrel. 

“But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before unbelievers.” Do you observe 
with what effect he disparaged the judges at first by calling them unrighteous; whereas here, 
to move shame, he calls them Unbelievers? For surely it is extremely disgraceful if the priest 

79 [Most of the modern critics and the Rev. Version make this a question, but Principal Edwards agrees with 
Chrysostom in considering it a precept. C.] 


Homily XVI 

could not be the author of reconciliation even among brethren, but recourse must be had 
to those without. So that when he said, “those who are of no account,” his chief meaning 
was not (ou rouro sine TiporiYOUfrevcnq ) that the Church’s outcasts should be appointed as 
judges, but to find fault with them. For that it was proper to make reference to those who 
were able to decide, he has shewn by saying, “Is it so, that there is not a wise man among 
you, not even one?” And with great impressiveness he stops their mouths, and says, “Even 
though there were not a single wise man, the hearing ought to have been left to you who 
are unwise rather than that those without should judge.” For what else can it be than absurd, 
that whereas on a quarrel arising in a house we call in no one from without and feel ashamed 
if news get abroad among strangers of what is going on within doors; where the Church is, 
the treasure of the unutterable Mysteries, there all things should be published without? 

Ver. 6. “But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before unbelievers.” 

The charge is twofold; both that he “goeth to law,” and “before the unbelievers.” For if 
even the thing by itself, To go to law with a brother, be a fault, to do it also before aliens, 
what pardon does it admit of? 

[7.] Ver. 7. “Nay, already it is altogether a defect in you, that ye have lawsuits one with 

Do you see for what place he reserved this point? And how he has cleared the discussion 
of it in good time? For “I talk not yet,” saith he, “which injures, or which is injured.” Thus 
far, the act itself of going to law brings each party under his censure, and in that respect one 
is not at all better than another. But whether one go to law justly or unjustly, that is quite 
another subject. Say not then, “which did the wrong?” For on this ground I at once condemn 
thee, even for the act of going to law. 

Now if being unable to bear a wrong-doer be a fault, what accusation can come up to 
the actual wrong? “Why not rather take wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?” 

Ver. 8. “Nay, ye yourselves do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.” 

Again, it is a twofold crime, perhaps even threefold or fourfold. One, not to know how 
to bear being wronged. Another, actually to do wrong. A third, to commit the settlement 
of these matters even unto the unjust. And yet a fourth, that it should be so done to a 
brother. For men’s offences are not judged by the same rule, when they are committed 
against any chance person, and towards one’s own member. For it must be a greater degree 
of recklessness to venture upon that. In the other case, the nature of the thing is alone 
trampled on; but in this, the quality of the person also. 

[8.] Having thus, you see, abashed them from arguments on general principles, and 


before that, from the rewards proposed ; he shuts up the exhortation with a threat, making 
his speech more peremptory, and saying thus, (ver. 9.) “Know ye not that the unrighteous 

80 i.e. in the clause, Do ye not know that the Saints shall judge the world ? ver. 2. 


Homily XVI 

shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, 
nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with men, (ver. 10.) nor covetous, 
nor thieves, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” 
What sayest thou? When discoursing about covetous persons, have you brought in upon 
us so vast a crowd of lawless men? “Yes,” says he, “but in doing this, I am not confusing my 
discourse, but going on in regular order.” For as when discoursing about the unclean he 
made mention of all together; so again, on mentioning the covetous he brings forward all, 
thus making his rebukes familiar to those who have such things on their conscience. For 
the continual mention of the punishment laid up for others makes the reproof easy to be 
received, when it comes into conflict with our own sins. And so in the present instance he 
utters his threat, not at all as being conscious of their doing such things, nor as calling them 
to account, a thing which has special force to hold the hearer and keep him from starting 
off; namely, the discourse having no respect unto him, but being spoken indefinitely and 
so wounding his conscience secretly. 

“Be not deceived.” Here he glances at certain who maintain (what indeed most men 
assert now) that God being good and kind to man, takes not vengeance upon our misdeeds: 
“Let us not then be afraid.” For never will he exact justice of any one for any thing. And it 
is on account of these that he says, “Be not deceived.” For it belongs to the extreme of error 
and delusion, after depending on good to meet with the contrary; and to surmise such things 
about God as even in man no one would think of. Wherefore saith the Prophet in His person, 
(Ps. xlix. LXX. 1. Heb. ver. 21.) “Thou hast conceived iniquity, that I shall be like unto 
thee: I will reprove thee and set before thy face thine iniquities.” And Paul here, “Be not 
deceived; neither fornicators,” (he puts first the one that was already condemned,) “nor 
adulterers, nor effeminate, nor drunkards, nor revilers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” 

Many have attacked this place as extremely severe, since he places the drunkard and 
the reviler with the adulterer and the abominable and the abuser of himself with mankind. 
And yet the offenses are not equal: how then is the award of punishment the same? What 
shall we say then? First, that drunkenness is no small thing nor reviling, seeing that Christ 
Himself delivered over to hell him that called his brother Fool. And often that sin has brought 
forth death. Again, the Jewish people too committed the greatest of their sins through 
drunkenness. In the next place, it is not of punishment that he is so far discoursing, but of 
exclusion from the kingdom. Now from the kingdom both one and the other are equally 
thrust out; but whether in hell they will find any difference, it belongs not to this present 
occasion to enquire. For that subject is not before us just now. 

[9.] Ver. 11. “And such were some of you: but ye were washed, but ye were sanctified.” 

8 1 tck; dvo^iai; aou not in rec. text. 


Homily XVI 

In a way to abash them exceedingly, he adds this: as if he said, “Consider from what 
evils God delivered us; how great an experiment and demonstration of loving-kindness He 
afforded us! He did not limit His redemption to mere deliverance, but greatly extended the 
benefit: for He also made thee clean. Was this then all? Nay: but He also “sanctified.” Nor 
even is this all: He also “justified.” Yet even bare deliverance from our sins were a great gift: 
but now He also filled thee with countless blessing. And this He hath done, “In the Name 
of our Lord Jesus Christ;” not in this name or in that: yea also, “In the Spirit of our God.” 

Knowing therefore these things, beloved, and bearing in mind the greatness of the 
blessing which hath been wrought, let us both continue to live soberly, being pure from all 
things that have been enumerated; and let us avoid the tribunals which are in the forums 
of the Gentiles; and the noble birth which God hath freely given us, the same let us preserve 
to the end. For think how full of shame it is that a Greek should take his seat and deal out 
justice to thee. 

But you will say, what if he that is within judge contrary to the law? Why should he? 
tell me. For I would know by what kind of laws the Greek administers justice, and by what 
the Christian? Is it not quite plain that the laws of men are the rule of the Greek, but those 
of God, of the Christian? Surely then with the latter there is greater chance of justice, seeing 
that these laws are even sent from heaven. For in regard to those without, besides what has 
been said, there are many other things also to suspect; talent in speakers and corruption in 
magistrates and many other things which are the ruin of justice. But with us, nothing of this 

“What then,” you will say, “if the adversary be one in high place? Well, for this reason 
more than all one ought to go to law in Christian courts: for in the courts without he will 
get the better of you at all events. “But what if he acquiesce not, but both despise those 
within and forcibly drag the course without?” Better were it to submit willingly to what you 
are likely to endure by compulsion, and not go to law, that thou mayest have also a reward. 
For, (St. Matt. v. 40.) “If any one will go to law with thee, and take away thy coat, thou shalt 
let him have thy cloak also:” and, (v. 25.) “Agree with thine adversary quickly, whilst thou 
art with him in the way.” And why need I speak of our rules? For even the pleaders in the 
heathen courts very often tell us this, saying, “it were better to make up matters out of court.” 
But, O wealth, or rather, O the absurd love of wealth! It subverts all things and casts them 
down; and all things are to the many an idle tale and fables because of money! Now that 
those who give trouble to courts of laws should be worldly men is no marvel: but that many 
of those who have bid farewell to the world should do the very same, this is a thing from 
which all pardon is cut off. For if you choose to see how far you should keep from this sort 
of need, I mean that of the tribunals, by rule of the Scripture, and to learn for whom the 
laws are appointed, hear what Paulsaith; (1 Tim. i. 9.) “For a righteous man law is not made, 


Homily XVI 

but for the lawless, and unruly.” And if he saith these things about the Mosaic Law, much 
more about the laws of the heathen. 

[10.] Now then, if you commit injustice, it is plain that you cannot be righteous: but if 
you are injured and bear it, (for this is a special mark of a righteous man,) you have no need 
of the laws which are without. “How then,” say you, “shall I be able to bear it when injured?” 
And yet Christ hath commanded something even more than this. For not only hath he 
commanded you when injured to bear it, but even to give abundantly more to the wrong- 
doer; and in your zeal for suffering ill to surpass his eagerness for doing it. For he said not, 
“to him that will sue thee at law, and take away thy coat, give thy coat,” but, “together with 
that give also thy cloak.” But I bid you overcome him, saith He, by suffering, not by doing, 
evil: for this is the certain and splendid victory. Wherefore also Paul goes on to say, “Now 
then it is altogether a defect in (rjrrr|pa rec. vers, “a fault.”) you that ye have lawsuits one 
with another.” And, “Wherefore do ye not rather take wrong?” For that the injured person 
overcomes, rather than he who cannot endure being injured, this I will make evident to you. 
He that cannot endure injury, though he force the other into court and gain the verdict, yet 
is he then most of all defeated. For that which he would not, he hath suffered; in that the 
adversary hath compelled him both to feel pain and to go to law. For what is it to the point 
that you have prevailed? and what, that you have recovered all the money? You have in the 
meanwhile borne what you did not desire, having been compelled to decide the matter by 
law. But if you endure the injustice, you overcome; deprived indeed of the money, but not 
at all of the victory which is annexed to such self-command. For the other had no power to 
oblige you to do what you did not like. 

And to shew that this is true; tell me, which conquered at the dunghill? Which was de- 
feated? Job who was stripped of all, or the devil who stripped him of all? Evidently the devil 
who stripped him of all. Whom do we admire for the victory, the devil that smote, or Job 
that was smitten? Clearly, Job. And yet he could not retain his perishing wealth nor save his 
children. Why speak I of riches and children? He could not insure to himself bodily health. 
Yet nevertheless this is the conqueror, he that lost all that he had. His riches indeed he could 
not keep; but his piety he kept with all strictness. “But his children when perishing he could 
not help.” And what then? Since what happened both made them more glorious, and besides 
in this way he protected himself against the despiteful usage. Now had he not have suffered 
ill and been wronged of the devil, he would not have gained that signal victory. Had it been 
an evil thing to suffer wrong, God would not have enjoined it upon us: for God enjoineth 
not evil things. What, know ye not that He is the God of Glory? that it could not be His will 
to encompass us with shame and ridicule and loss, but to introduce (npo^evijoai) us to the 
contrary of these? Therefore He commands us to suffer wrong, and doth all to withdraw us 
from worldly things, and to convince us what is glory, and what shame; what loss, and what 


Homily XVI 

“But it is hard to suffer wrong and be spitefully entreated.” Nay, O man, it is not, it is 
not hard. How long will thy heart be fluttering about things present? For God, you may be 
sure, would not have commanded this, had it been hard. Just consider. The wrong-doer 
goes his way with the money, but with an evil conscience besides: the receiver of the wrong, 
defrauded indeed of some money, but enriched with confidence towards God; an acquisition 
more valuable than countless treasures. 

[11.] Knowing these things, therefore, let us of our free choice go on strict principles, 
and not be like the unwise, who think that they are then not wronged, when their suffering 
wrong is the result of a trial. But, quite on the contrary, that is the greatest harm; and so in 
every case when we exercise self-restraint in these matters, not willingly, but after being 
worsted in that other quarter. For it is no advantage that a man defeated in a trial endures 
it; for it becomes thenceforth a matter of necessity. What then is the splendid victory? When 
thou lookest down on it: when thou refusest to go to law. 

“How say you? have I been stripped of every thing,” saith one, “and do you bid me keep 
silent? Have I been shamefully used, and do you exhort me to bear it meekly? And how shall 
I be able?” Nay, but it is most easy if thou wilt look up unto heaven; if thou wilt behold the 
beauty that is in sight; and whither God hath promised to receive thee, if thou bear wrong 
nobly. Do this then; and looking up unto the heaven, think that thou art made like unto 
Him that sitteth there upon the Cherubim. For He also was injured and He bore it; He was 
reproached and avenged not Himself; and was beaten, yet He asserted not His cause. Nay, 
He made return, in the contrary kind, to those who did such things, even in benefits without 
number; and He commanded us to be imitators of Him. Consider that thou earnest naked 
out of thy mother’s womb, and that naked both thou and he that hath done thee wrong shall 
depart; rather, he for his part, with innumerable wounds, breeding worms. Consider that 
things present are but for a season; count over the tombs of thine ancestors; acquaint thyself 
accurately with past events; and thou shalt see that the wrong- doer hath made thee stronger. 
For his own passion he hath aggravated, his covetousness I mean; but yours, he hath allevi- 
ated, taking away the food of the wild beast. And besides all this, he hath set you free from 
cares, agony, envy, informers, trouble, worry, perpetual fear; and the foul mass of evils he 
hath heaped upon his own head. 

“What then,” saith one, “if I have to struggle with hunger?” Thou endurest this with 
Paul, who saith, (1 Cor. iv. 10.) “Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, 
and are naked.” But he did it, you will say, “for God’s sake:” do thou it also for God’s sake. 
For when thou abstainest from avenging, thou dost so for God’s sake. 

“But he that wronged me, takes his pleasure with the wealthy.” Nay, rather with the 
devil. But be you crowned with Paul. 

Therefore fear not hunger, for (Prov. x. 3.) “the Lord will not kill with hunger the souls 
of the righteous.” And again, another saith, (Ps. lv. 23.) “Cast upon the Lord thy care, and 


Homily XVI 

He will nourish thee.” For if the sparrows of the field are nourished by Him, how shall He 
not nourish thee? Now let us not be of little faith nor of little soul, O my beloved! For He 
who hath promised the kingdom of heaven and such great blessings, how shall He not give 
things present? Let us not covet superfluous things, but let us keep to a sufficiency, and we 
shall always be rich. Let shelter be what we seek and food, and we shall obtain all things; 
both these, and such as are far greater. 

But if you are still grieving and bowing down, I should like to shew you the soul of the 
wrongdoer after his victory, how it is become ashes. For truly sin is that kind of thing: while 
one commits it, it affords a certain pleasure; but when it is finished, then the trifling pleasure 
is gone, one knows not how, and in its place comes dejection. And this is our feeling when 
we do hurt to any: afterwards, at any rate, we condemn ourselves. So also when we over- 
reach we have pleasure; but afterwards we are stung by conscience. Seest thou in any one’s 
possession some poor man’s home? Weep not for him that is spoiled, but for the spoiler: 
for he has not inflicted, but sustained an evil. For he robbed the other of things present; but 
himself he cast out of the blessings which cannot be uttered. For if he who giveth not to the 
poor shall go away into hell; what shall he suffer who takes the goods of the poor? 

“Yet,” saith one, “where is the gain, if I suffer ill?” Indeed, the gain is great. For not of 
the punishment of him that hath done thee harm doth God frame a compensation for thee: 
since that would be no great thing. For what great good is it, if I suffer ill and he suffer ill? 
And yet I know of many, who consider this the greatest comfort, and who think they have 
got all back again, when they see those who had insulted them undergoing punishment. But 
God doth not limit His recompense to this. 

Wouldest thou then desire to know in earnest how great are the blessings which await 
thee? He openeth for thee the whole heaven; He maketh thee a fellow-citizen with the Saints; 
He fits thee to bear a part in their choir: from sins He absolveth; with righteousness He 
crowneth. For if such as forgive offenders shall obtain forgiveness, those who not only forgive 
but who also give largely to boot, what blessing shall they not inherit? 

Therefore, bear it not with a poor spirit, but even pray for him that injured thee. It is 
for thyself that thou dost this. Hath he taken thy money? Well: he took thy sins too: which 
was the case with Naaman and Gehazi. How much wealth wouldest thou not give to have 
thine iniquities forgiven thee? This, believe me, is the case now. For if thou endure nobly 
and curse not, thou hast bound on thee a glorious crown. It is not my word, but thou hast 
heard Christ speaking, “Pray for those that despitefully use you.” And consider the reward 
how great! “That ye may be like your Father which is in the heavens.” So then you have 
been deprived of nothing, yea, you have been a gainer: you have received no wrongs, rather 
you have been crowned; in that you are become better disciplined in soul; are made like to 
God; are set free from the care of money; are made possessor of the kingdom of heaven. 


Homily XVI 

All these things therefore taking into account, let us restrain ourselves in injuries, beloved, 
in order that we may both be freed from the tumult of this present life, and cast out all un- 
profitable sadness of spirit, and may obtain the joy to come; through the grace and loving- 
kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom to the Father and the Holy Spirit be glory, 
power, honor, now, henceforth, and for ever and ever. Amen. 


Homily XVII 

Homily XVII. 

1 Cor. vi. 12 

“All things are lawful for me, but not all things are expedient. All things are lawful for me, 
but I will not be brought into the power of any. 

Here he glances at the gluttons. For since he intends to assail the fornicator again, and 
fornication arises from luxuriousness and want of moderation, he strongly chastises this 
passion. It cannot be that he speaks thus with regard to things forbidden, such not being 
“lawful:” but of things which seem to be indifferent. To illustrate my meaning: “It is lawful,” 
he says, “to eat and to drink; but it is not expedient with excess.” And so that marvellous 
and unexpected turn of his, which he is often wont to adopt; (Cf. Rom. xii. 21; 1 Cor. vii. 
23.) bringing his argument clear round to its contrary, this he manages to introduce here 
also; and he signifies that to do what is in one’s power not only is not expedient, but even 
is not a part of power, but of slavery. 

And first, he dissuades them on the ground of the inexpediency of the thing, saying, 
“they are not expedient:” in the next place, on that of its contrariety to itself, saying, “I will 
not be brought under the power of any.” This is his meaning: “You are at liberty to eat,” 
says he; “well then, remain in liberty, and take heed that you do not become a slave to this 
appetite: for he who uses it properly, he is master of it; but he that exceeds the proper 
measure is no longer its master but its slave, since gluttony reigns paramount within him.” 
Do you perceive how, where the man thought he had authority Paul points out that he is 
under authority? For this is his custom, as I was saying before, to give all objections a turn 
the contrary way. It is just this which he has done here. For mark; each of them was saying, 
“I have power to live luxuriously.” He replies, “In doing so, thou art not so much acting as 
one who had power over a thing, but rather as being thyself subject to some such power. 
For thou hast not power even over thine own belly, so long as thou art dissolute, but it hath 
power over thee.” And the same we may say both of riches and of other things. 

Ver. 13. “Meats for the belly.” By “the belly” here he means not the stomach, but the 
stomach’s voraciousness. As when he says, (Philip, iii. 19.) “Whose God is their belly:” not 
speaking about that part of the body, but about greediness. To prove that so it is, hear what 
follows: “And the belly for meats; but the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord.” And 
yet “the belly” also is of “the body.” But he puts down two pairs of things, “meats” and 
gluttony, (which he terms “the belly;”) “Christ,” and “the body.” 

What then is the meaning of, “Meats for the belly?” “Meats,” he says, are on good terms 
with gluttony, and it with them. It cannot therefore lead us unto Christ, but drags towards 
these. For it is a strong and brutal passion, and makes us slaves, and puts us upon ministering 
to the belly. Why then art thou excited and gaping after food, O man? For the end of that 


Homily XVII 

service is this, and nothing further shall be seen of it: but as one was waiting on some mis- 
tress, it abides keeping up this slavery, and advances no further, and has no other employment 
but this same fruitless one. And the two are connected together and destroyed together; 
“the belly” with “the meats,” and “the meats” with “the belly;” winding out a sort of inter- 
minable course; just as from a corrupt body worms may be produced, and again by worms 
the body consumed; or as it were a wave swoln high and breaking, and having no further 
effect. But these things he says not concerning food and the body, but it is the passion of 
greediness and excess in eatables which he is censuring: and what follows shews it. For he 

“But God shall bring to nought both it and them:” speaking not of the stomach, but of 
immoderate desire: not of food but of high feeding. For with the former he is not angry, 
but even lays down rules about them, saying, (1 Tim. vi. 8.) “Having food and covering we 
shall be therewith content.” However, thus he stigmatizes the whole thing; its amendment 
(after advice given) being left by him to prayer. 

But some say that the words are a prophecy, declaring the state which shall be in the 
life to come, and that there is no eating or drinking there. Now if that which is moderate 
shall have an end, much more ought we to abstain from excess. 

Then lest any one should suppose that the body is the object of his censure, and suspect 
that from a part he is blaming the whole, and say that the nature of the body was the cause 
of gluttony or of fornication, hear what follows. “I blame not,” he says, “the nature of the 
body, but the immoderate license of the mind.” And therefore he subjoins, “Now the body 
is not for fornication, but for the Lord;” for it was not formed for this purpose, to live riot- 
ously and commit fornication, as neither was the belly to be greedy; but that it might follow 
Christ as a Head, and that the Lord might be set over the body. Let us be overcome with 
shame, let us be horror-struck, that after we have been counted worthy of such great honor 
as to become members of Him that sitteth on high, we defile ourselves with so great evils. 

[2.] Having now sufficiently condemned the glutton, he uses also the hope of things to 
come to divert us from this wickedness: saying, 

Ver. 14. And God both raised up the Lord, and will raise up us also through His power. 

Do you perceive again his Apostolical wisdom? For he is always establishing the credib- 
ility of the Resurrection from Christ, and especially now. For if our body be a member of 
Christ, and Christ be risen, the body also shall surely follow the Head. 

“Through his power.” For since he had asserted a thing disbelieved and not to be appre- 
hended by reasonings, he hath left entirely to His incomprehensible power the circumstances 
of Christ’s own Resurrection, producing this too as no small demonstration against them. 
And concerning the Resurrection of Christ he did not insert this: for he did not say, “And 
God shall also raise up the Lord;” — for the thing was past and gone; — but how? “And God 
both raised up the Lord;” nor was there need of any proof. But concerning our resurrection, 


Homily XVII 

since it has not yet come to pass, he spoke not thus, but how? “And will raise up us also 
through His power:” by the reliance to be placed on the power of the Worker, he stops the 
mouths of the gainsayers. 

Further: if he ascribe unto the Father the Resurrection of Christ, let not this at all disturb 
thee. For not as though Christ were powerless, hath he put this down, for He it is Himself 
who saith, (S. John ii. 19.) “Destroy this Temple, and in three days I will raise it up:” and 
again, (S. John x. 18.) “I have power to lay down My life, and I have power to take it again.” 
And Luke also in the Acts says, (c. i. 3.) “To whom also He shewed Himself alive.” Wherefore 
then does Paul so speak? Because both the acts of the Son are imputed unto the Father, and 
the Father’s unto the Son. For He saith, (S. John v. 19.) “Whatsoever things He doeth, these 
the Son also doeth in like manner.” 

And very opportunely he here made mention of the Resurrection, keeping down by 
those hopes the tyranny of gluttonous desire; and all but saying, Thou hast eaten, hast drunk 
to excess: and what is the result? Nothing, save only destruction. Thou hast been conjoined 
unto Christ; and what is the result? A great and marvellous thing: the future Resurrection, 
that glorious one, and transcending all utterance! 

[3.] Let no one therefore go on disbelieving the Resurrection: but if a man disbelieve, 
let him think how many things He made from nothing, and admit it as a proof also of the 
other. For the things which are already past are stranger by far, and fraught with overpower- 
ing wonder. Just consider. He took earth and mixed it, and made man; earth which existed 
not before this. How then did the earth become man? And how was it produced from 
nothing? And, how, all the things that were made from it? the endless sorts of irrational 
creatures; of seeds; of plants; no pangs of travail having preceded in the one case, no rains 
having come down upon the others; no tillage seen, no oxen, no plough, nor any thing else 
contributing to their production? Why, for this cause the lifeless and senseless thing was 
made to put forth in the beginning so many kinds of plants and irrational creatures, in order 
that from the very first He might instruct thee in the doctrine of Resurrection. For this is 
more inexplicable than the Resurrection. For it is not the same thing to rekindle an extin- 
guished lamp, and to shew fire that has never yet appeared. It is not the same thing to raise 
up again a house which has fallen down, and to produce one which has never at all had an 
existence. For in the former case, if nothing else, yet the material was given to work with: 
but in the latter, not even the substance appeared. Wherefore He made first that which 
seemed to be the more difficult, to the end that hereby thou mightest admit that which is 
the more easy; more difficult, I say, not to God, but as far as our reasonings can follow the 
subject. For with God nothing is difficult: but as the painter who has made one likeness will 
make ten thousand with ease, so also with God it is easy to make worlds without number 
and end. Rather, as it is easy for you to conceive a city and worlds without bound, so unto 
God is it easy to make them; or rather again it is easier by far. For thou consumest time, 


Homily XVII 

brief though it be, in thy conception; but God not even this, but as much as stones are 
heavier than any of the lightest things, yea even than our minds; so much is our mind sur- 
passed by the rapidity of God’s work of creation. 

Do you marvel at His power on the earth? Think again how the heaven was made, not 
yet being; how the innumerable stars, how the sun, how the moon; and all these things not 
yet being. Again, tell me how after they were made they stood fast, and upon what? What 
foundation have they? and what the earth? What comes next to the earth? and again, what 
after that which came next to the earth? Do you see into what an eddy the eye of your mind 
is plunged, unless you quickly take refuge in faith and the incomprehensible power of the 

But if you choose from human things also to make conjecture, you will be able by degrees 
to find wings for your understanding. “What kind of human things?” may be asked. Do you 
not see the potters, how they fashion the vase which had been broken in pieces and become 
shapeless? Those who fuse the ore from the mine, how the earth in their hands turns out 
(Tqv Ytjv xpuoiov omocpafvouoi) gold, or silver, or copper? Others again who work in glass, 
how they transform the sand into one compact and transparent substance? Shall I speak of 
the dressers of leather, the dyers of purple vestments; how they make that which had received 
their tint shew as one thing, when it had been another? Shall I speak of the generation of 
our own race? Doth not a small seed, at first without form and impress, enter into the womb 
which receives it? Whence then the so intricate formation of the living creature? What is 
the wheat? Is it not cast a naked seed into the earth? After it has been cast there, doth it not 
decay? Whence is the ear, the beard, the stalk, and all the other parts? Doth not often a little 
grain of a fig fall into the ground, and produce both root, and branches, and fruit? And dost 
thou hereupon admit each of these and make no curious enquiries, and of God alone dost 
thou demand account, in His work of changing the fashion of our body? And how can such 
things be pardonable? 

These things and such like we say to the Greeks. For to those who are obedient to the 
Scriptures, I have no occasion to speak at all. 

I say, if you intend to pry curiously into all His doings, what shall God have more than 
men? And yet even of men there are many about whom we do not so enquire. Much more 
then ought we to abstain from impertinent inquiry about the wisdom of God, and from 
demanding accounts of it: in the first place, because He is trustworthy who affirmeth: in the 
second place, because the matter admits not investigation by reasonings. For God is not so 
abjectly poor as to work such things only as can be apprehended by the weakness of thy 
reasonings. And if thou comprehendest not the work of an artisan, much less of God, the 
best of artificers. Disbelieve not then the Resurrection, for very far will ye be from the hope 
of that which is to come. 


Homily XVII 

But what is the wise argument of the gain- sayers; rather, I should say, their exceeding 
senseless one? “Why how, when the body is mixed up with the earth and is become earth, 
and this again is removed elsewhere, how,” say they, “shall it rise again?” To thee this seems 
impossible, but not to the unsleeping Eye. For unto that all things are clear. And thou in 
that confusion seest no distinction of parts; but He knows them all. Since also the heart of 
thy neighbor thou knowest not, nor the things in it; but He knoweth all. If then, because of 
thy not knowing how God raiseth men up, thou believest not that He doth raise them, wilt 
thou disbelieve that He knoweth also what is in thy mind? for neither is that obvious to 
view. And yet in the body it is visible matter, though it be dissolved: but those thoughts are 
invisible. Shall He then who knoweth with all certainty the invisible things, not see the things 
which be visible, and easily distinguish the scattered parts of the body? I suppose this is 
plain to every one. 

Do not then disbelieve the Resurrection; for this is a doctrine of the Devil. This is what 
the Devil is earnest for, not only that the Resurrection may be disbelieved, but good works 
also may be done away with. For the man who does not expect that he shall rise again and 
give an account of the things which he has done, will not quickly apply himself to virtue; 
will in turn come to disbelieve the Resurrection entirely: for both these are established by 
each other; vice by unbelief, and unbelief by vice. For the conscience filled with many wicked 
nesses, fearing and trembling for the recompense to come and not willing to provide itself 
with comfort by changing to what is most excellent, is fain to repose in unbelief. Thus when 
thou deniest resurrection and judgment, the other for his part will say, “Then shall I also 
not have to render account of my bold deeds.” 

[4.] But why saith Christ? (St. Matt. xxii. 29.) “Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, 
nor the power of God.” For God would not have wrought so many things, had He intended 
not to raise us up again, but to dissolve and blot us out in annihilation. He would not have 
spread out this heaven, He would not have stretched the earth beneath, He would not have 
made all the rest of the universe only for this short life. But if all these are for the present, 
what will He not do for that which is to come? If, on the contrary, there is to be no future 
life, we are in this respect of far meaner account than the things which have been made for 
our sakes. For both the heaven, and the earth, and the sea, and the rivers, are more lasting 
than we are: and some even of the brutes; since the raven, and the race of elephants, and 
many other creatures, have a longer enjoyment of the present life. To us, moreover, life is 
both short and toilsome, but not to them. Theirs is both long, and freer from grief and cares. 

“What then? tell me: hath he made the slaves better than the masters?” Do not, I beseech 
thee, do not reason thus, O man, nor be so poverty-stricken in mind, nor be ignorant of the 
riches of God, having such a Master. For even from the beginning God desired to make thee 
immortal, but thou wert not willing. Since the things also of that time were dark hints of 
immortality: the converse with God; the absence of uneasiness from life; the freedom from 


Homily XVII 

grief, and cares, and toils, and other things which belong to a temporary existence. For Adam 
had no need either of a garment or a shelter, or any other provision of this sort; but rather 
was like to the Angels; and many of the things to come he foreknew, and was filled with 
great wisdom. Even what God did in secret, he knew, I mean with regard to the woman: 
wherefore also he said, “This is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh.” (Gen. ii. 23.) 
Labor came into being afterwards: so did sweat, so did shame, and cowardice, and want of 
confidence. But on that day there was no grief, nor pain, nor lamentation. But he abode not 
in that dignity. 

What then, saith one, am I to do? must I perish on his account? I reply, first, It is not 
on his account: for neither hast thou remained without sin: though it be not the same sin, 
at least there is some other which thou hast committed. And again, you have not been injured 
by his punishment, but rather have been a gainer. For if you had been to remain altogether 
mortal, perchance what is said would have had some reason in it. But now thou art immortal, 
and if thou wilt, thou mayest shine brighter than the sun itself. 

[5.] “But,” says one, “had I not received a mortal body, I had not sinned.” Tell me then, 
had he a mortal body when he sinned? Surely not: for if it had been mortal before, it would 
not have undergone death as a punishment afterwards. And that a mortal body is no 
hindrance to virtue, but that it keeps men in order and is of the greatest service, is plain 
from what follows. If the expectation of immortality alone so lifted up Adam; had he been 
even immortal in reality, to what a pitch of arrogance would he not have proceeded? And 
as things are, after sinning you may do away with your sins, the body being abject, falling 
away, and subject to dissolution: for these thoughts are sufficient to sober a man. But if you 
had sinned in an immortal body, your sins were likely to have been more lasting. 

Mortality then is not the cause of sin: accuse it not: but the wicked will is the root of all 
the mischief. For why was not Abel at all the worse for his body? Why are the devils not at 
all the better for being incorporeal? Wilt thou hear why the body’s becoming mortal, so far 
from hurting, has been positively useful? Mark how much thou gainest thereby, if thou art 
sober. It drags thee back and pulls thee off from wickedness, by griefs and pains and labors 
and other such things. “But it tempts men to uncleanness,” perhaps you will say. Not the 
body, but incontinence, doth this. For all these things which I was mentioning certainly do 
belong to the body: on which account it is impossible that a man who has entered into this 
life should escape disease and pain and lowness of spirits: but that he commit no uncleanness 
is possible. Thus it appears that if the affections of vice were part of the nature of the body 
they would be universal: since all things natural are so; but to commit fornication is not so. 
Pain indeed cometh of nature: but to commit fornication proceeds from deliberate purpose. 

Blame not the body then; let not the Devil take away thine honor, which God hath given 
thee. For if we choose, the body is an excellent bridle to curb the wanton sallies of the soul, 
to pull down haughtiness, to repress arrogance, to minister to us in the greatest achievements 


Homily XVII 

of virtue. For tell me not of those who have lost their senses; since we often see horses, after 
they have thrown out their drivers, dashing with their reins over the precipices, and yet we 
do not blame the rein. For it is not the breaking of that which caused it all, but the driver 
not holding them in was the ruin of every thing. Just so do thou reason in this case. If thou 
seest a young person living in orphanhood and doing innumerable evil things, blame not 
the body, but the charioteer who is dragged on, I mean, the man’s faculty of reasoning. For 
as the reins give no trouble to the charioteer, but the charioteer is the cruise of all the mischief 
through his not holding them properly: (and therefore do they often exact a penalty of him, 
entangling themselves with him, and dragging him on, and compelling him to partake in 
their own mishap:) so is it also in the case before us. “I,” say the reins, “made bloody the 
horse’s mouth as long as you held me: but since you threw me away, I require satisfaction 
for your contempt, and I entwine myself about you, and drag you along, so as not to incur 
the same usage again.” Let no one then blame the reins, but himself and his own corrupt 
mind. For over us too is a charioteer, even reason: and the reins are the body, connecting 
the horses with the charioteer; if then these be in good condition, you will suffer no harm: 
but if you let them go, you have annihilated and ruined every thing. Let us be temperate 
then, and lay all blame not on the body, but on the evil mind. For this is the Devil’s special 
work, to make foolish men accuse the body and God and their neighbor, rather than their 
own perverted minds; lest, having discovered the cause, they get free from the root of the 

But do ye, being aware of his design, direct your wrath against him: and having set the 
charioteer upon the car, bend the eye of your minds towards God. For in all other instances 
he that appoints the games contributes nothing, but only awaits the end. But in this case, 
He is all in all, who appointed the contest, even God. Him therefore let us render propitious, 
and surely we shall obtain the blessings in store; through the grace and loving-kindness of 
our Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, be glory, power, 
honor, now, henceforth, and for evermore. Amen. 


Homily XVIII 

Homily XVIII. 

1 Cor. vi. 15 

“Know ye not that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of 

Christ, and make them members of a harlot? God forbid. 

Having passed on from the fornicator to the covetous person, he comes back to the 
former from the latter, no longer henceforth discoursing with him but with the others who 
had not committed fornication. And in the act of securing them lest they fall into the same 
sins, he assails him again. For he that has committed sin, though you direct your words to 
another, is stung even in that way; his conscience being thoroughly awakened and scourging 

Now the fear of punishment indeed was enough to keep them in chastity. But seeing 
that he does not wish by fear alone to set these matters right, he uses both threatenings and 

Now upon that other occasion, having stated the sin, and prescribed the punishment, 
and pointed out the harm which intercourse with the fornicator brought upon all, he left 
off, and passed to the subject of covetousness: and having threatened the covetous and all 
the rest whom he mentioned with expulsion from the kingdom, he so concluded his discourse. 
But here he takes in hand the work of admonition in a yet more terrific manner. For as he 
that only punishes a sin and does nothing to point out its most extreme lawlessness, produces 
no such great effect by his chastisement: so again, he who only abashes and fails to terrify 
by his mode of punishing, does not very keenly hit men of hardened minds. Wherefore Paul 
does both: here he abashes, saying, “Know ye not that we shall judge angels?” there again 
he terrifies, saying, “Know ye not that the covetous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?” 

And in regard to the fornicator, he again uses this order of discourse. For having terrified 
him by what he had said before; first cutting him off and delivering him to Satan, and then 
reminding him of that day which is coming; he abashes him again by saying, “Know ye not 
that your bodies are members of Christ?” thenceforth speaking as to children of noble birth. 
For whereas he had said, “Now the body is for the Lord,” he indicates it more plainly now. 
And in another place as well he does this same thing, saying, (xii. 27.) “Now ye are the body 
of Christ, and severally members thereof.” And the same figure he often employs, not with 
the same aim, but at one time to shew His love, and at another to increase their fear. But 
here he has employed it to startle and fill them with alarm. “Shall I then take the members 
of Christ, and make them members of a harlot? God forbid.” Nothing can be apter to strike 
horror than this expression. He said not, “Shall I take the members of Christ, and join them 
on to a harlot?” but what? “make them members of a harlot;” which surely would strike 
more keenly. 


Homily XVIII 

Then he makes out how the fornicator becomes this, saying thus, “Know ye not that he 
that is joined unto a harlot is one body?” How is this evident? “For the twain, saith He, shall 
become one.” 

Ver. 17. “But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.” 

For the conjunction suffers the two no longer to be two, but makes them both one. 

[2.] Now mark again, how he proceeds by means of the bare terms, conducting his ac- 
cusation in the names of the harlot and of Christ. 

Ver. 18. “Flee fornication.” 

He said not, “abstain from fornication,” but “Flee:” that is, with all zeal make to yourselves 
deliverance from that evil. “Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that 
committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” This is less than what went before; 
but since he had to speak of fornicators, he amplifies that guilt by topics drawn from all 
quarters, from greater things and smaller alike, making the charge heinous. And, in fact, 
that former topic was addressed to the more religious, but this to the weaker sort. For this 
also is characteristic of the wisdom of Paul, not only to allege the great things wherewith to 
abash men, but the lesser also, and the consideration of what is disgraceful and unseemly. 

“What then,” say you, “does not the murderer stain his hand? What, of the covetous 
person and the extortioner?” I suppose it is plain to every one. But since it was not possible 
to mention anything worse than the fornicator, he amplifies the crime in another way, by 
saying that in the fornicator the entire body becomes defiled. For it is as polluted as if it had 
fallen into a vessel of filth, and been immersed in defilement. And this too is our way. For 
from covetousness and extortion no one would make haste to go into a bath, but as if 
nothing had happened returns to his house. Whereas from intercourse with a harlot, as 
having become altogether unclean, he goes to a bath. To such a degree does the conscience 
retain from this sin a kind of sense of unusual shame. Both however are bad, both covetous- 
ness and fornication; and both cast into hell. But as Paul doeth every thing with good man- 
agement, so by whatever topics he had he magnified the sin of fornication. 

[3.] Ver. 19. “Know ye not that your body is a temple of the Holy Ghost which is in 
you?” He did not merely say, “of the Spirit,” but, “which is in you;” which was the part of 
one who also was soothing. And again, explaining himself still further, he added, “which ye 
have from God.” He mentioned Him that gave also, both exalting the hearer and putting 
him in fear, both by the magnitude of the deposit, and by the munificence of Him that made 

“And ye are not your own.” This is not only to abash, but even to force men towards 
virtue. “For why,” says he; “doest thou what thou wilt? thou art not thine own master.” But 
these things he said, not to take away free-will. For so in saying, “All things are lawful for 
me, but not all things are expedient,” he does not take away our liberty. And here again, 
writing, “Ye are not your own;” he makes no infringement upon freedom of choice, but he 


Homily XVIII 

leads away from vice and indicates the guardian care of the Lord. And therefore he added, 
“For ye were bought with a price.” 

“But if I am not my own, upon what ground do you demand of me duties to be done? 
And why do you go on to say again, “Glorify God therefore in your body and in your spirit, 
which are God’s?” What then is the meaning of, “ye are not your own?” And what does he 
wish to prove thereby? To settle them in a state of security against sin, and against following 
the improper desires of the mind. For indeed we have many improper wishes: but we must 
repress them, for we can. And if we could not, exhortation would be in vain. Mark, accord- 
ingly, how he secures his ground. For having said, “Ye are not your own,” he adds not, “But 
are under compulsion;” but, “Ye were bought with a price.” Why sayest thou this? Surely 
on another ground, one might say perhaps, you should have persuaded men, pointing out 
that we have a Master. But this is common to the Greeks also together with us: whereas the 
expression, “Ye were bought with a price,” belongs to us peculiarly. For he reminds us of 
the greatness of the benefit and of the mode of our salvation, signifying that when we were 
alienated, we were “bought:” and not simply “bought,” but, “with a price.” 

“Glorify then, take up and bear, God in your body, and in your spirit.” Now these 
things he says, that we may not only flee fornication in the body, but also in the spirit of our 
mind abstain from every wicked thought, and from driving away grace. 

“Which are God’s.” For as he had said “your,” he added therefore, “which are God’s:” 
continually reminding us that all things belong to the Lord, both body and soul and spirit: 
For some say, that the words “in the spirit” mean the gracious Gift; for if That be in us, God 
is glorified. And this will be, if we have a clean heart. 

But He has spoken of these things as God’s, not only because He brought them into 
being, but also because, when they were alienated, He won them again a second time, paying 
as the price, the blood of the Son. Mark how He brought the whole to completion in Christ, 
how He raised us up into heaven. “Ye are members of Christ,” saith he, “ye are a temple of 
the Spirit.” Become not then “members of a harlot:” for it is not your body which is insulted; 
since it is not your body at all, but Christ’s. And these things he spake, both to make manifest 
His loving-kindness in that our body is His, and to withdraw us from all evil license. For if 
the body be another’s, “you have no authority,” says he, “to insult another’s body; and espe- 
cially when it is the Lord’s; nor yet to pollute a temple of the Spirit.” For if any one who in- 
vades a private house and makes his way revelling into it, must answer for it most severely; 
think what dreadful things he shall endure who makes a temple of the King a robber’s 
lurking place. 

82 apareom. in rec. text, portate Vulg.: so St. Ignatius was called Theophorus. 

83 [The last clause, and in your spirit, which are God’s, not being found in the uncials, is omitted by all the 
modern Editors. C.] 


Homily XVIII 

Considering these things therefore, reverence thou Him that dwelleth within. For the 
Paraclete is He. Thrill before Him that is enfolded and cleaves unto thee; for Christ is He. 
Hast thou indeed made thyself members of Christ? Think thus, and continue chaste; whose 
members they were, and Whose they have become. Erewhile they were members of an 
harlot, and Christ hath made them members of His own Body. Thou hast therefore hence- 
forth no authority over them. Serve Him that hath set thee free. 

For supposing you had a daughter, and in extreme madness had let her out to a procurer 
for hire, and made her live a harlot’s life, and then a king’s son were to pass by, and free her 
from that slavery, and join her in marriage to himself; you could have no power thenceforth 
to bring her into the brothel. For you gave her up once for all, and sold her. Such as this is 
our case also. We let out our own flesh for hire unto the Devil, that grievous procurer: Christ 
saw and set it free, and withdrew it from that evil tyranny; it is not then ours any more but 
His who delivered it. If you be willing to use it as a King’s bride, there is none to hinder; but 
if you bring it where it was before, you will suffer just what they ought who are guilty of 
such outrages. Wherefore you should rather adorn instead of disgracing it. For you have 
no authority over the flesh in the wicked lusts, but in those things alone which God may 
enjoin. Let the thought enter your mind at least from what great outrage God hath delivered 
it. For in truth never did any harlot expose herself so shamefully as our nature before this. 
For robberies, murders, and every wicked thought entered in and lay with the soul, and for 
a small and vulgar hire, the present pleasure. For the soul, being mixed up with all wicked 
devices and deeds, reaped this reward and no other. 

However, in the time before this, bad though it were to be such as these, it was not so 
bad: but after heaven, after the King’s courts, after partaking of the tremendous Mysteries, 
again to be contaminated, what pardon shall this have? Or, dost thou not think that the 
covetous too, and all those whom he recounted before, have the Devil to he with them? And 
dost thou not judge that the women who beautify themselves for pollution have intercourse 
with him? Why, who shall gainsay this word? But if any be contentious, let him uncover the 
soul of the women who behave in this unseemly manner, and he will surely see that the 
wicked demon closely entwined with them. For it is hard, brethren, it is hard, perchance 
even impossible, when the body is thus beautified, for the soul to be beautified at the same 
time: but one must needs be neglected, while the other is cared for. For nature does not allow 
these to take place together. 

[4.] Wherefore he saith, “He that is joined to a harlot is one body; but he that is joined 
to the Lord is one Spirit.” For such an one becomes thenceforth Spirit, although a body en- 
velope him. For when nothing corporeal nor gross nor earthly is around him, the body doth 
but merely envelope him; since the whole government of him is in the soul and the Spirit. 
In this way God is glorified. Wherefore both in the Prayer we are commanded to say, 


Homily XVIII 

“Hallowed be Thy Name:” and Christ saith also, “Let your light shine before men, that they 
may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” 

So do the heavens also glorify Him, uttering no voice, but by the view of them attracting 
wonder and referring the glory unto the Great Artificer. So let us glorify Him also, or rather 
more than they. For we can if we will. For not so much do the heaven nor day nor night 
glorify God, as a holy soul. For as one that gazeth upon the beauty of the heaven, saith, 
“Glory be to Thee, O God! How fair a work hast thou formed!” so too when beholding 
virtue in any man: nay, and much more so in the latter instance. For from these works of 
creation all do not glorify God; but many even assert that the things which exist are self- 
moving: and others impute to demons the workmanship of the world and providence; and 
these indeed greatly and unpardonably err: but in regard to the virtue of man, no one shall 
have power to hold these shameless opinions, but shall assuredly glorify God when he seeth 
him that serveth Him living in goodness. For who shall help being astonished when one 
being a man, and partaking of our common nature, and living among other men, like 
adamant yields not at all to the swarm of passions? When being in the midst of fire and iron 
and wild beasts, he is even harder than adamant and vanquishes all for the Word of godliness’ 
sake? when he is injured, and blesses; when he is evil reported of, and praises; when he is 
despitefully used, and prays for those who injure him; when he is plotted against, and does 
good to those that fight with him and lay snares for him? For these things, and such as these, 
will glorify God far more than the heaven. For the Greeks when they behold the heavens 
feel no awe; but when they see a holy man exhibiting a severe course of life with all strictness, 
they shrink away and condemn themselves. Since when he that partakes of the same nature 
as themselves is so much above them, a great deal more so than the heaven is above the 
earth, even against their inclination they think that it is a Divine power which works these 
things. Wherefore He saith, “And glorify your Father which is in heaven.” 

[5.] Wilt thou learn also from another place how by the life of His servants God is 
glorified, and how by miracles? Nebuchadnezzar once threw the Three Children into the 
furnace. Then when he saw that the fire had not prevailed over them, he saith, (Dan. iii. 28. 
LXX. ek rrj;; Kapfvou added.) “Blessed be God, who hath sent His Angel, and delivered his 
servants out of the furnace, because they trusted in Him and have changed the word of the 
king.” “How sayest thou? Hast thou been despised, and dost thou admire those who have 
spit upon you?” “Yes,” saith he, “and for this very reason, that I was despised.” And of the 
marvel he gives this reason. So that not because of the miracle alone was glory given to God 
at that time, but also because of the purpose of those who have been thrown in. Now if any 
one would examine this point and the other, as they are in themselves, this will appear not 
less than that: for to persuade souls to brave a furnace is not less in respect of the wonder 
than to deliver from a furnace. For how can it be otherwise than astonishing for the Emperor 
of the world, with so many arms around him, and legions, and generals, and viceroys, and 


Homily XVIII 

consuls, and land and sea subject to his sway, to be despised by captive children; for the 
bound to overcome the binder and conquer all that army? Neither was there any power in 
the king and his company to do what they would, no, not even with the furnaces for an ally. 
But they who were naked, and slaves, and strangers, and few, (for what number could be 
more contemptible than three?) being in chains, vanquished an innumerable army. For 
already now was death despised, since Christ was henceforth about to sojourn in the world. 
And as when the sun is on the point of rising, even before his rays appear the light of the 
day groweth bright; so also when then the Sun of Righteousness was about to come, death 
henceforth began to withdraw himself. What could be more splendid than that theatre? 
What more conspicuous than that victory? What more signal than those new trophies of 

The same thing is done in our time also. Even now is there a king of the Babylonish 
furnace, even now he kindles a flame fiercer than that. There is even now such an image, 
and one who giveth command to admire it. At his side are satraps and soldiers and bewitching 
music. And many gaze in admiration upon this image, so varied, so great. For somewhat of 
the same kind of thing as that image is covetousness, which doth not despise even iron , 
but unlike as the materials are whereof it is composed, it giveth command to admire all, 
both brass and iron, and things much more ordinary than they. 

But as these things are, so also even now are there some who are emulous of these chil- 
dren: who say, “thy gods we serve not, and thine images we worship not;” but both the furnace 
of poverty we endure and all other distress, for the sake of God’s laws.” And the wealthy for 
their part, even as those at that time, oftentimes, worship this image too and are burnt. But 


those who possess nothing despite even this, and although in poverty, are more in the dew 
than those who live in affluence. Even as at that time they who cast into the fire were burnt 
up; but those in the midst of it found themselves in dew as it were rain. Then also that tyrant 
was more burnt up with the flame, his wrath kindling him violently, than those children. 
As to them, the fire had no power even to touch the ends of their hair: but more fiercely 
than that fire did wrath burn up his mind. For consider what a thing it was that with so 
many to look on, he should be scorned by captive children. And it was a sign that his taking 
their city also had not been through his own might, but by reason of the sin of the multitude 
among them. Since if he had not the power to overcome these men in chains, and that when 
they were cast into a furnace, how could he have overcome the Jews in regular warfare, had 

84 St. Chrysostom evidently considers the image which Nebuchadnezzar set up as intended to represent the 
image which he had seen in his dream. 

85 MfiAAov eiat ev 5poaw. Alluding to the words in LXX, eitolriae to peaov xfjc; vcaplvou cbq tveupa Spoaou 
Siaauptijov. v. 26. 


Homily XVIII 

they been all such as these? From which it is plain that the sins of the multitude betrayed 
the city. 

[6.] But mark also the children’s freedom from vain-glory. For they did not leap into 
the furnace, but they kept beforehand the commandment of Christ where he says, (St. Matt, 
xxvi. 41.) “Pray that ye enter not into temptation.” Neither did they shrink when they were 
brought to it; but stood in the midst nobly, neither contending without a summons, nor yet 
when summoned playing the coward: but ready for everything, and noble, and full of all 
boldness of speech. 


But let us hear also what they say, that from this also we may learn their lofty spirit. 
(Dan. iii. 17.) “There is a God in heaven able to deliver us:” they take no care for themselves, 
but even when about to be burned the glory of God is all their thought. For what they say 
comes to this, “Lest perchance if we are burnt thou shouldest charge God with weakness, 
we now declare unto thee accurately our whole doctrine. “There is a God in heaven,” not 
such as this image here on earth, this lifeless and mute thing, but able to snatch even from 
the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Condemn him not then of weakness for permitting 
us to fall into it. So powerful is He that after our fall, He is able to snatch us out again out 
of the flame. “But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor 
worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” Observe that they by a special dispensation 
are ignorant of the future: for if they had foreknown, there would have been nothing won- 
derful in their doing what they did. For what marvel is it if when they had a guarantee for 
safety, they defied all terrors? Then God indeed would have been glorified in that He was 
able to deliver from the furnace: but they would not have been wondered at, inasmuch as 
they would not have cast themselves into any dangers. For this cause He suffered them to 
be ignorant of the future that He might glorify them the more. And as they cautioned 
(riai|)aA(^ovTo) the king that he was not to condemn God of weakness though they might 
be burnt, so God accomplished both purposes; the shewing forth His own power and the 
causing the zeal of the children to appear more conspicuous. 

From whence then arose their doubting and their not feeling confident that they should 
at all events be preserved? Because they esteemed themselves assuredly too mean, and un- 
worthy of such a benefit. And to prove that I say not this upon conjecture; when they fell 
into the furnace, they bewailed themselves after this sort, saying, (Song of the three Children 
w. 6, 10.) “We have sinned, we have done iniquity, we cannot open our mouth.” And 
therefore they said, “But if not.” But if they did not plainly say this, namely, “God is able to 
deliver us; but if he deliver us not, for our sin’s sake He will not deliver us;” wonder not at 
it. For they would have seemed to the barbarians to be sheltering the weakness of God under 
the pretext of their own sins. Wherefore His power only is what they speak of: the reason 

86 ms. Reg. <piA.60eov, “devout.” Bened. cpiAdoocpov. 


Homily XVIII 

they allege not. And besides, they were well disciplined not to be over-curious about the 
judgments of God. 

With these words then, they entered into the fire; and they neither cast insult upon the 
king, nor overturned the statue . For such should the courageous man be, temperate and 
mild; and that especially in dangers; that he may not seem to go forth to such contests in 
wrath and vain-glory; but with fortitude and self-possession. For whoso deals insolently 
undergoes the suspicion of those faults: but he that endures, and is forced into the struggle, 
and goes through the trial with meekness, is not only admired as brave, but his self-possession 
also and consideration cause him to be no less extolled. And this is what they did at that 
time; shewing forth all fortitude and gentleness, and doing nothing for reward nor for re- 
compense or return. ‘“Though He be not willing ‘so it stands’ to deliver us, we will not 
serve thy gods:’ for we have already our recompense in that we are counted worthy to be 
kept from all impiety, and for that end to give our bodies to be burned.” 

We then also having already our recompense, (for indeed we have it in that we have 
been vouchsafed the full knowledge of Him, vouch-safed to be made members of Christ,) 
let us take care that we make them not members of an harlot. For with this most tremendous 
saying we must conclude our discourse, in order that having the fear of the threat in full 
efficacy, we may remain purer than gold, this fear helping to make us so. For so shall we be 
able, delivered from all fornication, to see Christ. Whom God grant us all to behold with 
boldness at that day, through the grace and loving-kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ; to 
Whom be the glory, for evermore. Amen. 

87 This may be a covert allusion to the outrage on the statues of Theodosius, which had brought Antioch into 
so great trouble in the second year of S. Chrysostom’s ministry there. 


Homily XIX 

Homily XIX. 

1 Cor. vii. 1, 2 

Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote to me: it is good for a man not to touch a woman. 

But because of fornications, let each man have his own wife; and let each woman have 

her own husband. 

Having corrected the three heaviest things laid to their charge, one, the distraction of 
the Church, another, about the fornicator, a third, about the covetous person, he thenceforth 
uses a milder sort of speech. And he interposes some exhortation and advice about marriage 
and virginity, giving the hearers some respite from more unpleasant subjects. But in the 
second Epistle he does the contrary; he begins from the milder topics, and ends with the 
more distressing. And here also, after he has finished his discourse about virginity, he again 
launches forth into matter more akin to reproof; not setting all down in regular order, but 
varying his discourse in either kind, as the occasion required and the exigency of the matters 
in hand. 

Wherefore he says, “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me.” For they 
had written to him, “Whether it was right to abstain from one’s wife, or not:” and writing 
back in answer to this and giving rules about marriage, he introduces also the discourse 
concerning virginity: “It is good for a man not to touch a woman.” “For if,” says he, “thou 
enquire what is the excellent and greatly superior course, it is better not to have any connec- 
tion whatever with a woman: but if you ask what is safe and helpful to thine own infirmity, 
be connected by marriage.” 

But since it was likely, as also happens now, that the husband might be willing but the 
wife not, or perhaps the reverse, mark how he discusses each case. Some indeed say that this 
discourse was addressed by him to priests. But I, judging from what follows, could not affirm 
that it was so: since he would not have given his advice in general terms. For if he were 
writing these things only for the priests, he would have said, “It is good for the teacher not 
to touch a woman.” But now he has made it of universal application, saying, “It is good for 
a man;” not for priest only. And again, “Art thou loosed from a wife? Seek not a wife.” He 
said not, “You who are a priest and teacher,” but indefinitely. And the whole of his speech 
goes on entirely in the same tones. And in saying, “Because of fornications, let every man 
have his own wife” by the very cause alleged for the concession he guides men to continence. 


[2.] Ver. 3. “Fet the husband pay the wife the honor due to her: in like manner the 
wife the husband.” 

88 ri^r|v: rec. text, euvoiav. [The latest editors adopt the reading 6<peiAr|v. C.] 


Homily XIX 

Now what is the meaning of “the due honor? The wife hath not power over her own 
body;” but is both the slave and the mistress of the husband. And if you decline the service 
which is due, you have offended God. But if thou wish to withdraw thyself, it must be with 
the husband’s permission, though it be but a for short time. For this is why he calls the 
matter a debt, to shew that no one is master of himself but that they are servants to each 

When therefore thou seest an harlot tempting thee, say, “My body is not mine, but my 
wife’s.” The same also let the woman say to those who would undermine her chastity, “My 
body is not mine, but my husband’s.” 

Now if neither husband nor wife hath power even over their own body, much less have 
they over their property. Hear ye, all that have husbands and all that have wives: that if you 
must not count your body your own, much less your money. 

Elsewhere I grant He gives to the husband abundant precedence, both in the New 
Testament, and the Old saying, (q anooxpocpr] oou, LXX. Gen. iii. 16.) “Thy turning shall 
be towards thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” Paul doth so too by making a distinction 
thus, and writing, (Ephes. v. 25, 33.) “Husbands, love your wives; and let the wife see that 
she reverence her husband.” But in this place we hear no more of greater and less, but it is 
one and the same right. Now why is this? Because his speech was about chastity. “In all 
other things,” says he, “let the husband have the prerogative; but not so where the question 
is about chastity.” “The husband hath no power over his own body, neither the wife.” There 
is great equality of honor, and no prerogative. 

[3.] Ver. 5. “Defraud ye not one the other, except it be by consent.” 

What then can this mean? “Let not the wife,” says he, “exercise continence, if the husband 
be unwilling; nor yet the husband without the wife’s consent.” Why so? Because great evils 
spring from this sort of continence. For adulteries and fornications and the ruin of families 
have often arisen from hence. For if when men have their own wives they commit fornication, 
much more if you defraud them of this consolation. And well says he, “Defraud not; fraud” 
here, and “debt” above, that he might shew the strictness of the right of dominion in question. 
For that one should practice continence against the will of the other is “defrauding;” but 
not so, with the other’s consent: anymore than I count myself defrauded, if after persuading 
me you take away any thing of mine. Since only he defrauds who takes against another’s 
will and by force. A thing which many women do, working sin rather than righteousness, 
and thereby becoming accountable for the husband’s uncleanness, and rending all asunder. 
Whereas they should value concord above all things, since this is more important than all 

We will, if you please, consider it with a view to actual cases. Thus, suppose a wife and 
husband, and let the wife be continent, without consent of her husband; well then, if hereupon 
he commit fornication, or though abstaining from fornication fret and grow restless and be 


Homily XIX 

heated and quarrel and give all kind of trouble to his wife; where is all the gain of the fasting 
and the continence, a breach being made in love? There is none. For what strange reproaches, 
how much trouble, how great a war must of course arise! since when in an house man and 
wife are at variance, the house will be no better off than a ship in a storm when the master 
is upon ill terms with the man at the head. Wherefore he saith, “Defraud not one another, 
unless it be by consent for a season, that ye may give yourselves unto prayer.” It is prayer 
with unusual earnestness which he here means. For if he is forbidding those who have inter- 
course with one another to pray, how could “pray without ceasing” have any place? It is 
possible then to live with a wife and yet give heed unto prayer. But by continence prayer is 
made more perfect. For he did not say merely, “That ye may pray;” but, “That ye may give 
yourselves unto it;” as though what he speaks of might cause not uncleanness but much 

“And may be together again, that Satan tempt you not.” Thus lest it should seem to be 
a matter of express enactment, he adds the reason. And what is it? “That Satan tempt you 
not.” And that you may understand that it is not the devil only who causeth this crime, I 
mean adultery, he adds, “because of your incontinency.” 

“But this I say by way of permission, not of commandment. For I would that all men 
were even as I myself; in a state of continence.” This he doth in many places when he is ad- 
vising about difficult matters; he brings forward himself, and says, “Be ye imitators of me.” 
“Howbeit each man hath his own gift from God, one after this manner, and another 
after that.” Thus since he had heavily charged them saying, “for your incontinence,” he 
again comforteth them by the words, “each one hath his own gift of God;” not declaring 
that towards that virtue there is no need of zeal on our part, but, as I was saying before, to 
comfort them. For if it be a “gift,” and man contributes nothing thereunto, how sayest thou, 
“But (v. 8.) I say to the unmarried and to widows, it is good for them if they abide even as 
I: (v. 9.) but if they have not continency let them marry?” Do you see the strong sense of 
Paul how he both signifies that continence is better, and yet puts no force on the person 
who cannot attain to it; fearing lest some offence arise? 

“For it is better to marry than to burn.” He indicates how great is the tyranny of concu- 
piscence. What he means is something like this: “If you have to endure much violence and 
burning desire, withdraw yourself from your pains and toils, lest haply you be subverted.” 
[4.] Ver. 10. “But to the married I give charge, yet not I, but the Lord.” 

Because it is a law expressly appointed by Christ which he is about to read to them about 
the “not putting away a wife without fornication; “(S. Matt. v. 32., xix. 9; S. Mark x. 11; S. 
Luke xvi. 18.) therefore he says, “Not I.” True it is what was before spoken though it were 
not expressly stated, yet it also is His decree. But this, you see, He had delivered in express 
words. So that the words “I and not I” have this difference of meaning. For that you might 


Homily XIX 

not imagine even his own words to be human, therefore he added, “For I think that I also 
have the Spirit of God.” 

Now what is that which “to the married the Lord commanded? That the wife depart 
not from her husband: (v. 11.) but if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled 
unto her husband.” Here, seeing that both on the score of continence and other pretexts, 
and because of infirmities of temper, (piKpoiJiuxtac;.) it fell out that separations took place: 
it were better, he says, that such things should not be at all; but however if they take place, 
let the wife remain with her husband, if not to cohabit with him, yet so as not to introduce 
any other to be her husband. 

Ver. 12. “But to the rest speak I, not the Lord. If any brother have a wife that believeth 
not, and she is content to dwell with him, let him not leave her. And if any woman hath an 
husband that believeth not, and he is content to dwell with her, let her not leave him.” 

For as when discoursing about separating from fornicators, he made the matter easy by 
the correction which he applied to his words, saying, “Howbeit, not altogether with the 
fornicators of this world;” so also in this case he provideth for the abundant easiness of the 
duty, saying, “If any wife have a husband, or husband a wife, that believeth not, let him not 
leave her.” What sayest thou? “If he be an unbeliever, let him remain with the wife, but not 
if he be a fornicator? And yet fornication is a less sin than unbelief.” I grant, fornication is 
a less sin: but God spares thine infirmities extremely. And this is what He doth about the 
sacrifice, saying, (S. Matt. v. 24.) “Leave the sacrifice, and be reconciled to thy brother.” This 
also in the case of the man who owed ten thousand talents. For him too He did not punish 
for owing him ten thousand talents, but for demanding back a hundred pence from his fellow- 
servant He took vengeance on him. 

Then lest the woman might fear, as though she became unclean because of intercourse 
with her husband, he says, “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified in the wife, and the 
unbelieving wife is sanctified in the husband.” And yet, if “he that is joined to an harlot is 
one body,” it is quite clear that the woman also who is joined to an idolater is one body. 
Well: it is one body; nevertheless she becomes not unclean, but the cleanness of the wife 
overcomes the uncleanness of the husband; and again, the cleanness of the believing husband 
overcomes the uncleanness of the unbelieving wife. 

How then in this case is the uncleanness overcome, and therefore the intercourse allowed; 
while in the woman who prostitutes herself, the husband is not condemned in casting her 
out? Because here there is hope that the lost member may be saved through the marriage; 
but in the other case the marriage has already been dissolved; and there again both are cor- 
rupted; but here the fault is in one only of the two. I mean something like this: she that has 
been guilty of fornication is utterly abominable: if then “he that is joined to an harlot is one 
body,” he also becomes abominable by having connection with an harlot; wherefore all the 
purity flits away. But in the case before us it is not so. But how? The idolater is unclean but 


Homily XIX 

the woman is not unclean. For if indeed she were a partner with him in that wherein he is 
unclean, I mean his impiety, she herself would also become unclean. But now the idolater 
is unclean in one way, and the wife holds communion with him in another wherein he is 
not unclean. For marriage and mixture of bodies is that wherein the communion consists. 

Again, there is a hope that this man may be reclaimed by his wife for she is made com- 
pletely his own: but for the other it is not very easy. For how will she who dishonored him 
in former times and became another’s and destroyed the rights of marriage, have power to 
reclaim him whom she had wronged; him, moreover, who still remains to her as an alien? 

Again in that case, after the fornication the husband is not a husband: but here, although 
the wife be an idolatress, the husband’s rights are not destroyed. 

However, he doth not simply recommend cohabitation with the unbeliever, but with 
the qualification that he wills it. Wherefore he said, “And he himself be content to dwell 
with her.” For, tell me, what harm is there when the duties of piety remain unimpaired and 
there are good hopes about the unbeliever, that those already joined should so abide and 
not bring in occasions of unnecessary warfare? For the question now is not about those who 
have never yet come together, but about those who are already joined. He did not say, If 
any one wish to take an unbelieving wife, but, “If any one hath an unbelieving wife.” Which 
means, If any after marrying or being married have received the word of godliness, and then 
the other party which had continued in unbelief still yearn for them to dwell together, let 
not the marriage be broken off. “For,” saith he, “the unbelieving husband is sanctified in 
the wife.” So great is the superabundance of thy purity. 

What then, is the Greek holy? Certainly not: for he said not, He is holy; but, “He is 
sanctified in his wife.” And this he said, not to signify that he is holy, but to deliver the woman 
as completely as possible from her fear and lead the man to desire the truth. For the unclean- 
ness is not in the bodies wherein there is communion, but in the mind and the thoughts. 
And here follows the proof; namely, that if thou continuing unclean have offspring, the 
child, not being of thee alone, is of course unclean or half clean. But now it is not unclean. 
To which effect he adds, “else were your children unclean; but now are they holy;” that is, 
not unclean. But the Apostle calls them, “holy,” by the intensity of the expression again 
casting out the dread arising from that sort of suspicion. 

Ver. 15. “Yet if the unbelieving departeth, let him depart,” for in this case the matter is 
no longer fornication. But what is the meaning of, “if the unbelieving departeth?” For in- 
stance, if he bid thee sacrifice and take part in his ungodliness on account of thy marriage, 
or else part company; it were better the marriage were annulled, and no breach made in 
godliness. Wherefore he adds, “A brother is not under bondage, nor yet a sister, in such 
cases.” If day by day he buffet thee and keep up combats on this account, it is better to sep- 
arate. For this is what he glances at, saying, “But God hath called us in peace.” For it is the 


Homily XIX 

other party who furnished the ground of separation, even as he did who committed unclean- 

Ver. 16. “For how knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thine husband?” This 
again refers to that expression, “let her not leave him.” That is, “if he makes no disturbance, 
remain,” saith he, “for there is even profit in this; remain and advise and give counsel and 
persuade.” For no teacher will have such power to prevail (Reg. neXaai. Bened. iaxuaai. 89 ) 
as a wife. And neither, on one hand, doth he lay any necessity upon her and absolutely de- 
mand the point of her, that he may not again do what would be too painful; nor, on the 
other, doth he tell her to despair: but he leaves the matter in suspense through the uncertainty 
of the future, saying, “For how knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? 
or how knowest thou, O husband whether thou shalt save thy wife?” 

[5.] And again, ver. 17. “Only as God hath distributed to each man, as the Lord hath 
called each, so let him walk. Was any one called being circumcised? let him not become 
uncircumcised. Was any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised. Circumcision 
is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing; but the keeping of the commandments of God. 
Let each man abide in that calling wherein he was called. Wast thou called, being a slave? 
Care not for it.” These things contribute nothing unto faith, saith he. Be not then contentious 
neither be troubled; for the faith hath cast out all these things. 

“Let each man abide in that calling wherein he was called. Hast thou been called, having 
an unbelieving wife? Continue to have her. Cast not out thy wife for the faith’s sake. Hast 
thou been called, being a slave? Care not for it. Continue to be a slave. Hast thou been called, 
being in uncircumcision? Remain uncircumcised. Being circumcised, didst thou become a 
believer? Continue circumcised. For this is the meaning of, “As God hath distributed unto 
each man.” For these are no hindrances to piety. Thou art called, being a slave; another, 
with an unbelieving wife; another, being circumcised. 

Astonishing! where has he put slavery? As circumcision profits not: and uncircumcision 
does no harm; so neither doth slavery, nor yet liberty. And that he might point out this with 
surpassing clearness, he says, “But even (AAA 1 d veal Suvaaat) if thou canst become free, 
use it rather:” that is, rather continue a slave. Now upon what possible ground does he tell 
the person who might be set free to remain a slave? He means to point out that slavery is 
no harm but rather an advantage. 

Now we are not ignorant that some say, the words, “use it rather,” are spoken with regard 
to liberty: interpreting it, “if thou canst become free, become free.” 90 But the expression 
would be very contrary to Paul’s manner if he intended this. For he would not, when con- 

89 [The latter is adopted by Field.] 

90 [This is the view of Calvin, Neander, Hoffmann, etc., but Bengel, De Wette, Meyer, Alford, Stanley, Prin- 
cipal Edwards agree with Chrysostom. The question is a very nice one. C.] 


Homily XIX 

soling the slave and signifying that he was in no respect injured, have told him to get free. 
Since perhaps some one might say, “What then, if I am not able? I am an injured and de- 
graded person.” This then is not what he says: but as I said, meaning to point out that a man 
gets nothing by being made free, he says, “Though thou hast it in thy power to be made free, 
remain rather in slavery.” 

Next he adds also the cause; “For he that was called in the Lord being a bondservant, is 
the Lord’s free man: likewise he that was called, being free, is Christ’s bondservant.” “For,” 
saith he, “in the things that relate to Christ, both are equal: and like as thou art the slave of 
Christ, so also is thy master. How then is the slave a free man? Because He has freed thee 
not only from sin, but also from outward slavery while continuing a slave. For he suffers 
not the slave to be a slave, not even though he be a man abiding in slavery: and this is the 
great wonder. 

But how is the slave a free man while continuing a slave? When he is freed from passions 
and the diseases of the mind: when he looks down upon riches and wrath and all other the 
like passions. 

Ver. 23. “Ye were bought with a price: become not bondservants of men.” This saying 
is addressed not to slaves only but also to free men. For it is possible for one who is a slave 
not to be a slave; and for one who is a freeman to be a slave. “And how can one be a slave 
and not a slave?” When he doeth all for God: when he feigns nothing, and doeth nothing 
out of eye-service towards men: that is how one that is a slave to men can be free. Or again, 
how doth one that is free become a slave? When he serves men in any evil service, either for 
gluttony or desire of wealth or for office’ sake. For such an one, though he be free, is more 
of a slave than any man. 

And consider both these points. Joseph was a slave but not a slave to men: wherefore 
even in slavery he was freer than all that are free. For instance, he yielded not to his mistress; 
yielded not to the purposes which she who possessed him desired. Again she was free; yet 
none ever so like a slave, courting and beseeching her own servant. But she prevailed not 
on him, who was free, to do what he would not. This then was not slavery; but it was liberty 
of the most exalted kind. For what impediment to virtue had he from his slavery? Let men 
hear, both slaves and free. Which was the slave? He that was entreated or she that did entreat? 
She that besought or he that despised her supplication? 

In fact, there are limits set to slaves by God Himself; and up to what point one ought to 
keep them, has also been determined, and to transgress them is wrong. Namely, when your 
master commands nothing which is unpleasing to God, it is right to follow and to obey; but 
no farther. For thus the slave becomes free. But if you go further, even though you are free 
you are become a slave. At least he intimates this, saying, “Be not ye the servants of men.” 

But if this be not the meaning, if he bade them forsake their masters and strive conten- 
tiously to become free, in what sense did he exhort them, saying, “Let each one remain in 


Homily XIX 

the calling in which he is called?” And in another place, (1 Tim. vi. 1, 2.) “As many servants 
as are under the yoke, let them count their own masters worthy of all honor; and those that 
have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren who partake 
of the benefit.” And writing to the Ephesians also and to the Colossians, he ordains and exacts 
the same rules. Whence it is plain that it is not this slavery which he annuls, but that which 
caused as it is by vice befalls free men also: and this is the worst kind of slavery, though he 
be a free man who is in bondage to it. For what profit had Joseph’s brethren of their freedom? 
Were they not more servile than all slaves; both speaking lies to their father, and to the 
merchants using false pretences, as well as to their brother? But not such was the free man: 
rather every where and in all things he was true. And nothing had power to enslave him, 
neither chain nor bondage nor the love of his mistress nor his being in a strange land. But 
he abode free every where. For this is liberty in the truest sense when even in bondage it 
shines through. 

[6.] Such a thing is Christianity; in slavery it bestows freedom. And as that which is by 
nature an invulnerable body then shews itself to be invulnerable when having received a 
dart it suffers no harm; so also he that is strictly free then shows himself, when even under 
masters he is not enslaved. For this cause his bidding is, “remain a slave.” But if it is im- 
possible for one who is a slave to be a Christian such as he ought to be, the Greeks will 
condemn true religion of great weakness: whereas if they can be taught that slavery in no 
way impairs godliness, they will admire our doctrine. For if death hurt us not, nor scourges, 
nor chains, much less slavery. Fire and iron and tyrannies innumerable and diseases and 
poverty and wild beasts and countless things more dreadful than these, have not been able 
to injure the faithful; nay, they have made them even mightier. And how shall slavery be 
able to hurt? It is not slavery itself, beloved, that hurts; but the real slavery is that of sin. And 
if thou be not a slave in this sense, be bold and rejoice. No one shall have power to do thee 
any wrong, having the temper which cannot be enslaved. But if thou be a slave to sin, even 
though thou be ten thousand times free thou hast no good of thy freedom. 

For, tell me, what profit is it when, though not in bondage to a man, thou best down in 
subjection to thy passions? Since men indeed often know how to spare; but those masters 
are never satiated with thy destruction. Art thou in bondage to a man? Why, thy master also 
is slave to thee, in arranging about thy food, in taking care of thy health and in looking after 
thy shoes and all the other things. And thou dost not fear so much less thou shouldest offend 
thy master, as he fears lest any of those necessaries should fail thee. “But he sits down, while 
thou standest.” And what of that? Since this may be said of thee as well as of him. Often, at 
least, when thou art lying down and sleeping sweetly, he is not only standing, but undergoing 
endless discomforts in the market-place; and he lies awake more painfully than thou. 

For instance; what did Joseph suffer from his mistress to be compared with what she 
suffered from her evil desire? For he indeed did not the things which she wished to put upon 


Homily XIX 

him; but she performed every thing which her mistress ordered her, I mean her spirit of 
unchastity: which left not off until it had put her to open shame. What master commands 
such things? what savage tyrant? “Intreat thy slave,” that is the word: “flatter the person 
bought with thy money, supplicate the captive; even if he reject thee with disgust, again be- 
siege him: even if thou speakest to him oftentimes, and he consent not, watch for his being 
alone, and force him, and become an object of derision.” What can be more dishonorable, 
what more shameful, than these words? “And if even by these means you make no progress, 
why, accuse him falsely and deceive your husband.” Mark how mean, how shameful are the 
commands, how unmerciful and savage and frantic. What command does the master ever 
lay on his slave, such as those which her wantonness then laid upon that royal woman? And 
yet she dare not disobey. But Joseph underwent nothing of this sort, but every thing on the 
contrary which brought glory and honor. 

Would you like to see yet another man under severe orders from a hard mistress, and 
without spirit to disobey any of them? Consider Cain, what commands were laid on him 
by his envy. She ordered him to slay his brother, to lie unto God, to grieve his father, to cast 
off shame; and he did it all, and in nothing refused to obey. And why marvel that over a 
single person so great should be the power of this mistress? She hath often destroyed entire 
nations. For instance, the Midianitish women took the Jews, and all but bound them in 
captivity; their own beauty kindling desire, was the means of their vanquishing that whole 
nation. Paul then to cast out this sort of slavery, said, “Become not servants of men;” that 
is, “Obey not men commanding unreasonable things: nay, obey not yourselves.” Then 
having raised up their mind and made it mount on high, he says, 

[7.] Ver. 25. “Now concerning virgins. I have no commandment of the Lord; but I give 
my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.” 

Advancing on his way in regular order, he proceeds next to speak concerning virginity. 
For after that he had exercised and trained them, in his words concerning continence, he 
goes forth towards what is greater, saying, “I have no commandment, but I esteem it to be 
good.” For what reason? For the self-same reason as he had mentioned respecting continence. 

Ver. 27. “Art thou bound unto a wife? Seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a 
wife? Seek not a wife.” 

These words carry no contradiction to what had been said before but rather the most 
entire agreement with them. For he says in that place also, “Except it be by consent:” as here 
he says, “Art thou bound unto a wife? Seek not separation.” This is no contradiction. For 
its being against consent makes a dissolution: but if with consent both live continently, it is 
no dissolution. 

Then, lest this should seem to be laying down a law, he subjoins, (v. 28.) “but if thou 
marry, thou hast not sinned.” He next alleges the existing state of things, “the present distress, 
the shortness of the time,” and “the affliction.” For marriage draws along with it many things, 


Homily XIX 

which indeed he hath glanced at, as well here as also in the discourse about continence: 
there, by saying, “the wife hath not power over herself;” and here, by the expression, “Thou 
art bound.” 

“But if and thou marry, thou hast not sinned.” He is not speaking about her who hath 
made choice of virginity, for if it comes to that, she hath sinned. Since if the widows 91 are 
condemned for having to do with second marriages after they have once chosen widowhood, 
much more the virgins. 

“But such shall have trouble in the flesh.” “And pleasure too,” you will say: but observe 
how he curtails this by the shortness of the time, saying, (v. 28.) “the time is shortened;” 
that is, “we are exhorted to depart now and go forth, but thou art running further in.” And 
yet even although marriage had no troubles, even so we ought to press on towards things 
to come. But when it hath affliction too, what need to draw on one’s self an additional burden. 
What occasion to take up such a load, when even after taking it you must use it as having 
it not? For “those even that have wives must be,” he saith, “as though they had none.” 

Then, having interposed something about the future, he brings back his speech to the 
present. For some of his topics are spiritual; as that, “the one careth about the things which 
be her husband’s, the other about those which be God’s.” Others relate to this present life; 
as, “I would have you to be free from cares.” But still with all this he leaves it to their own 
choice: inasmuch as he who after proving what is best goes back to compulsion, seems as if 
he did not trust his own statements. Wherefore he rather attracts them by concession, and 
checks them as follows: 

Ver. 35. “And this I say for your own profit, not that I may cast a snare upon you, but 
for that which is seemly, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction. Let the 
virgins hear that not by that one point is virginity defined; for she that is careful about the 
things of the world cannot be a virgin, nor seemly. Thus, when he said, “There is difference 
between a wife and a virgin,” he added this as the difference, and that wherein they are dis- 
tinguished from each other. And laying down the definition of a virgin and her that is not 
a virgin, he names, not marriage nor continence but leisure from engagements and multi- 
plicity of engagements. For the evil is not in the cohabitation, but in the impediment to the 
strictness of life. 

Ver. 36. “But if any man think that he behaveth himself unseemly toward his virgin.” 

Here he seems to be talking about marriage; but all that he says relates to virginity; for 
he allows even a second marriage, saying, “only in the Lord.” Now what means, “in the 
Lord?” With chastity, with honor: for this is needed every where, and must be pursued for 
else we cannot see God. 

91 i.e. the widows whom St. Paul mentions, 1 Tim. v. 11, 12. 


Homily XIX 

Now if we have passed lightly by what he says of virginity, let no one accuse us of negli- 
gence; for indeed an entire book hath been composed by us upon this topic and as we have 
there with all the accuracy which we could, gone through every branch of the subject, we 
considered it a waste of words to introduce it again here. Wherefore, referring the hearer 
to that work as concerns these things, we will say this one thing here: We must follow after 
continence. For, saith he, “follow after peace, and the sanctification without which no one 
shall see the Lord.” Therefore that we may be accounted worthy to see Him, whether we be 
in virginity or in the first marriage or the second, let us follow after this that we may obtain 
the kingdom of heaven, through the grace and loving-kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ; to 
Whom with the Father and the Holy Spirit, be glory, power, honor, now, henceforth, and 
for everlasting ages. Amen. 


Homily XX 

Homily XX. 

1 Cor. viii. 1 

Now concerning things sacrificed to idols: we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge 

puffeth up, but love edifieth. 

It is necessary first to say what the meaning of this passage is: for so shall we readily 
comprehend the Apostle’s discourse. For he that sees a charge brought against any one, except 
he first perceive the nature of the offence will not understand what is said. What then is it 
of which he was then accusing the Corinthians? A heavy charge and the cause of many evils. 
Well, what is it? Many among them, having learnt that (St. Matt. xv. 11.) “not the things 
which enter in defile the man, but the things which proceed out,” and that idols of wood 
and stone, and demons, have no power to hurt or help, had made an immoderate use of 
their perfect knowledge of this to the harm both of others and of themselves. They had both 
gone in where idols were and had partaken of the tables there, and were producing thereby 
great and ruinous evil. For, on the one hand, those who still retained the fear of idols and 
knew not how to contemn them, took part in those meals, because they saw the more perfect 
sort doing this; and hence they got the greatest injury: since they did not touch what was 
set before them with the same mind as the others, but as things offered in sacrifice to idols; 
and the thing was becoming a way to idolatry. On the other hand, these very persons who 
pretended to be more perfect were injured in no common way, partaking in the tables of 

This then was the subject of complaint. Now this blessed man being about to correct it, 
did not immediately begin to speak vehemently; for that which was done came more of folly 
than of wickedness: wherefore in the first instance there was need rather of exhortation than 
of severe rebuke and wrath. Now herein observe his good sense, how he immediately begins 
to admonish. 

“Now concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge.” 
Leaving alone the weak, which he always doth, he discourses with the strong first. And this 
is what he did also in the Epistle to the Romans, saying, (Rom. xiv. 10.) “But thou, why dost 
thou judge thy brother?” for this is the sort of person that is able to receive rebuke also with 
readiness. Exactly the same then he doth here also. 

And first he makes void their conceit by declaring that this very thing which they con- 
sidered as peculiar to themselves, the having perfect knowledge, was common to all. Thus, 
“we know,” saith he, “that we all have knowledge.” For if allowing them to have high thoughts, 
he had first pointed out how hurtful the thing was to others, he would not have done them 


Homily XX 

so much good as harm. For the ambitious soul when it plumes itself upon any thing, even 
though the same do harm to others, yet strongly adheres to it because of the tyranny of vain- 
glory. Wherefore Paul first examines the matter itself by itself: just as he had done before 
in the case of the wisdom from without, demolishing it with a high hand. But in that case 
he did it as we might have expected: for the whole thing was altogether blameworthy and 
his task was very easy. Wherefore he signifies it to be not only useless, but even contrary to 
the Gospel. But in the present case it was not possible to do this. For what was done was of 
knowledge, and perfect knowledge. Nor was it safe to overthrow it, and yet in no other way 
was it possible to cast out the conceit which had resulted from it. What then doeth he? First, 
by signifying that it was common, he curbs that swelling pride of theirs. For they who possess 
something great and excellent are more elated, when they alone have it; but if it be made 
out that they possess it in common with others, they no longer have so much of this feeling. 
First then he makes it common property, because they considered it to belong to themselves 

Next, having made it common, he does not make himself singly a sharer in it with them; 
for in this way too he would have rather set them up; for as to be the only possessor elates, 
so to have one partner or two perhaps among leading persons has this effect just as much. 
For this reason he does not mention himself but all: he said not, “I too have knowledge,” 
but, “we know that we all have knowledge.” 

[2.] This then is one way, and the first, by which he cast down their pride; the next hath 
greater force. What then is this? In that he shews that not even this thing itself was in all 
points complete, but imperfect, and extremely so. And not only imperfect, but also injurious, 
unless there were another thing joined together with it. For having said that “we have 
knowledge,” he added, “Knowledge puffeth up, but love edifieth:” so that when it is without 
love, it lifts men up to absolute arrogance. 

“And yet not even love,” you will say, “without knowledge hath any advantage.” Well: 
this he did not say; but omitting it as a thing allowed by all, he signifies that knowledge 
stands in extreme need of love. For he who loves, inasmuch as he fulfils the commandment 
which is most absolute of all, even though he have some defects, will quickly be blest with 
knowledge because of his love; as Cornelius and many others. But he that hath knowledge 
but hath not love, not only shall gain nothing more, but shall also be cast out of that which 
he hath, in many cases falling into arrogance. It seems then that knowledge is not productive 
of love, but on the contrary debars from it him that is not on his guard, puffing him up and 
elating him. For arrogance is wont to cause divisions: but love both draws together and leads 
to knowledge. And to make this plain he saith, “But if any man loveth God, the same is 
known of Him.” So that “I forbid not this,” saith he, “namely, your having perfect knowledge; 
but your having it with love, that I enjoin; else is it no gain, but rather loss.” 


Homily XX 

Do you see how he already sounds the first note of his discourse concerning love? For 
since all these evils were springing from the following root, i.e., not from perfect knowledge, 
but from their not greatly loving nor sparing their neighbors; whence ensued both their 
variance and their self-satisfaction, and all the rest which he had charged them with; both 
before this and after he is continually providing for love; so correcting the fountain of all 
good things. “Now why,” saith he, “are ye puffed up about knowledge? For if ye have not 
love, ye shall even be injured thereby. For what is worse than boasting? But if the other be 
added, the first also will be in safety. For although you may know something more than 
your neighbor, if you love him you will not set yourself up but lead him also to the same.” 
Wherefore also having said, “Knowledge puffeth up,” he added, “but love edifieth.” He did 
not say, “Behaveth itself modestly,” but what is much more, and more gainful. For their 
knowledge was not only puffing them up but also distracting them. On this account he op- 
poses the one to the other. 

[3.] And then he adds a third consideration, which was of force to set them down. What 
then is this? that although charity be joined with it, yet not even in that case is this our 
knowledge perfect. And therefore he adds, 

Ver. 2. “But if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he 
ought to know.” This is a mortal blow. “I dwell not,” saith he, “on the knowledge being 
common to all. I say not that by hating your neighbor and by arrogance, you injure yourself 
most. But even though you have it by yourself alone, though you be modest, though you 
love your brother, even in this case you are imperfect in regard of knowledge. “For as yet 
thou knowest nothing as thou oughtest to know,” Now if we possess as yet exact knowledge 
of nothing, how is it that some have rushed on to such a pitch of frenzy as to say that they 
know God with all exactness? Whereas, though we had an exact knowledge of all other 
things, not even so were it possible to possess this knowledge to such an extent. For how far 
He is apart from all things, it is impossible even to say. 

And mark how he pulls down their swelling pride: for he said not, “of the matters before 
us ye have not the proper knowledge,” but, “about every thing.” And he did not say, “ye,” 
but, “no one whatever,” be it Peter, be it Paul, be it any one else. For by this he both soothed 
them and carefully kept them under. 

Ver. 3. “But if any man love God, the same,” he doth not say, “knoweth Him,” but, “is 
known of Him.” For we have not known Him, but He hath known us. And therefore did 
Christ say, “Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you.” And Paul elsewhere, “Then 
shall I know fully, even as also I have been known.” 

Observe now, I pray, by what means he brings down their high-mindedness. First, he 
points out that not they alone knew the things which they knew; for “we all,” he saith,” have 

92 emyvwao^ai. 


Homily XX 

knowledge.” Next, that the thing itself was hurtful so long as it was without love; for 
“knowledge,” saith he, “puffeth up.” Thirdly, that even joined with love it is not complete 
nor perfect. “For if any man thinketh that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing as yet 
as he ought to know,” so he speaks. In addition to this, that they have not even this from 
themselves, but by gift from God. For he said not, “hath known God,” but, “is known of 
Him.” Again, that this very thing comes of love which they have not as they ought. For, “if 
any man,” saith he, “love God, the same is known of Him.” Having then so much at large 
allayed their irritation, he begins to speak doctrinally, saying thus. 

[4.] Ver. 4. “Concerning therefore the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that 
no idol is anything in the world, and that there is no God but one.” Look what a strait he 
hath fallen into! For indeed his mind is to prove both; that one ought to abstain from this 
kind of banquet, and that it hath no power to hurt those who partake of it: things which 
were not greatly in agreement with each other. For when they were told that they had no 
harm in them, they would naturally run to them as indifferent things. But when forbidden 
to touch them, they would suspect, on the contrary, that their having power to do hurt oc- 
casioned the prohibition. Wherefore, you see, he puts down their opinion about idols, and 
then states as a first reason for their abstaining the scandals which they place in the way of 
their brethren; in these words: “Now concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we 
know that no idol is anything in the world.” Again he makes it common property and doth 
not allow this to be theirs alone, but extends the knowledge all over the world. For “not 
among you alone,” says he, “but every where on earth this doctrine prevails.” What then is 
it? “That no idol is anything in the world; that there is no God but one.” What then? are 
there no idols? no statues? Indeed there are; but they have no power: neither are they gods, 
but stones and demons. For he is now setting himself against both parties; both the grosser 
sort among them, and those who were accounted lovers of wisdom. Thus, seeing that the 
former know of no more than the mere stones, the others assert that certain powers reside 
in them , which they also call gods; to the former accordingly he says, that “no idol is 
anything in the world,” to the other, that “there is no God but one.” 

Do you mark how he writes these things, not simply as laying down doctrine, but in 
opposition to those without? A thing indeed which we must at all times narrowly observe, 
whether he says anything abstractedly, or whether he is opposing any persons. For this 
contributes in no ordinary way to the accuracy of our doctrinal views, and to the exact un- 
derstanding of his expressions. 

93 Olympius the Sophist, of Alexandria, A.D. 389, thus comforted the people when their idols were destroyed: 
“Shapes and counterfeits they were, fashioned of matter subject unto corruption, therefore to grind them to 
dust was easy: but those celestial powers which dwelt and resided in them are ascended to Heaven.” Sozom. vii. 
15, quoted by Hooker, E. P. v. 65. 15. 


Homily XX 

[5.] Ver. 5. “For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or on earth, as 
there are gods many and lords many; yet to us there is one God, the Father, of Whom are 
all things, and we unto Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom are all things, and 
we through Him.” Since he had said, that “an idol is nothing” and that “there is no other 
God;” and yet there were idols and there were those that were called gods; that he might not 
seem to be contradicting plain facts, he goes on to say, “For though there be that are called 
gods, as indeed there are;” not absolutely, “there are;” but, “called,” not in reality having this 
but in name: “be it in heaven or on earth: — in heaven,” meaning the sun and the moon and 
the remainder of the choir of stars; for these too the Greeks worshipped: but upon the earth 
demons, and all those who had been made gods of men: — “yet to us there is One God, the 
Father.” In the first instance having expressed it without the word “Father,” and said, “there 
is no God but one,” he now adds this also, when he had utterly cast out the others. 

Next, he adduces what indeed is the greatest token of divinity; “of Whom are all things.” 
For this implies also that those others are not gods. For it is said (Jer. x. 11.), “Let the gods 
who made not the heaven and the earth perish.” Then he subjoins what is not less than this, 
“and we unto Him.” For when he saith, “of Whom are all things,” he means the creation 
and the bringing of things out of nothing into existence. But when he saith, “and we unto 
Him,” he speaks of the word of faith and mutual appropriation (oiKsiojasojc;), as also he 
said before (1 Cor. i. 30.), “but of Him are ye also in Christ Jesus.” In two ways we are of 
Him, by being made when we were not, and by being made believers. For this also is a cre- 
ation: a thing which he also declares elsewhere; (Ephes. ii. 15.) “that He might create in 
Himself of the twain one new man.” 

“And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through Whom are all things, and we through 
Him.” And in regard to Christ again, we must conceive of this in like manner. For through 
Him the race of men was both produced out of nothing into existence, and returned from 
error to truth. So that as to the phrase “of Whom,” it is not to be understood apart from 
Christ. For of Him, through Christ, were we created. 

[6.] Nor yet, if you observe, hath he distributed the names as if belonging exclusively, 
assigning to the Son the name Lord, and to the Father, God. For the Scripture useth also 
often to interchange them; as when it saith, (Ps. cx. 1 .) “The Lord saith unto My Lord;” and 
again, (Ps. lxv. 8.) “Wherefore God Thy God hath appointed Thee;” and, (Rom. ix. 5.) “Of 
Whom is Christ according to the flesh, Who is God over all.” And in many instances you 
may see these names changing their places. Besides, if they were allotted to each nature 
severally, and if the Son were not God, and God as the Father, yet continuing a Son: after 
saying, “but to us there is but One God,” it would have been superfluous, his adding the 
word “Father,” with a view to declare the Unbegotten. For the word of God was sufficient 
to explain this, if it were such as to denote Him only. 


Homily XX 

And this is not all, but there is another remark to make: that if you say, “Because it is 
said ‘One God,’ therefore the word God doth not apply to the Son;” observe that the same 
holds of the Son also. For the Son also is called “One Lord,” yet we do not maintain that 
therefore the term Lord applies to Him alone. So then, the same force which the expression 
“One” has, applied to the Son, it has also, applied to the Father. And as the Father is not 
thrust out from being the Lord, in the same sense as the Son is the Lord, because He, the 
Son, is spoken of as one Lord; so neither does it cast out the Son from being God, in the 
same sense as the Father is God, because the Father is styled One God. 

[7.] Now if any were to say, “Why did he make no mention of the Spirit?” our answer 
might be this: His argument was with idolaters, and the contention was about “gods many 
and lords many.” And this is why, having called the Father, God, he calls the Son, Lord. If 
now he ventured not to call the Father Lord together with the Son, lest they might suspect 
him to be speaking of two Lords; nor yet the Son, God, with the Father, lest he might be 
supposed to speak of two Gods: why marvel at his not having mentioned the Spirit? His 
contest was, so far, with the Gentiles: his point, to signify that with us there is no plurality 
of Gods. Wherefore he keeps hold continually of this word, “One;” saying, “There is no God 
but One; and, to us there is One God, and One Lord.” From which it is plain, that to spare 
the weakness of the hearers he used this mode of explanation, and for this reason made no 
mention at all of the Spirit. For if it be not this, neither ought he to make mention of the 
Spirit elsewhere, nor to join Him with the Father and the Son. For if He be rejected from 
the Father and Son, much more ought He not to be put in the same rank with them in the 
matter of Baptism; where most especially the dignity of the Godhead appears and gifts are 
bestowed which pertain to God alone to afford. Thus then I have assigned the cause why in 
this place He is passed over in silence. Now do thou if this be not the true reason, tell me, 
why He is ranked with Them in Baptism? But thou canst not give any other reason but His 
being of equal honor. At any rate, when he has no such constraint upon him, he puts Him 
in the same rank, saying thus: (2 Cor. xiii. 14.) “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the 
love of God and the Father, 94 and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with you all:” and 
again, (ch. xii. 4.) “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit: and there are diversities 
of administrations, but the same Lord; and there are diversities of workings but the same 
God.” But because now his speech was with Greeks and the weaker sort of the converts from 
among Greeks, for this reason he husbands it (tapieuerai) so far. And this is what the 
prophets do in regard of the Son; no where making mention of Him plainly because of the 
infirmity of the hearers. 

Ver. 7. “But not in all is knowledge,” saith he. What knowledge doth he mean? about 
God, or about things offered in sacrifice to idols? For either he here glances at the Greeks 

94 Kai IlaTpcx;, om. in rec. text. 


Homily XX 

who say that there are many gods and lords, and who know not Him that is truly God; or 
at the converts from among Greeks who were still rather infirm, such as did not yet know 
clearly that they ought not to fear idols and that “an idol is nothing in the world.” But in 
saying this, he gently soothes and encourages the latter. For there was no need of mentioning 
all he had to reprove, particularly as he intended to visit them again with more severity. 

[8.] “But some being used to the idol eat as of a thing sacrificed to an idol, and their con 
science being weak is defiled.” They still tremble at idols, he saith. For tell me not of the 
present establishment, and that you have received the true religion from your ancestors. 
But carry back your thoughts to those times, and consider when the Gospel was just set on 
foot, and impiety was still at its height, and altars burning, and sacrifices and libations offering 
up, and the greater part of men were Gentiles; think, I say, of those who from their ancestors 
had received impiety, and who were the descendants of fathers and grandfathers and great- 
grandfathers like themselves, and who had suffered great miseries from the demons. How 
must they have felt after their sudden change! How would they face and tremble at the as- 
saults of the demons! For their sake also he employs some reserve, saying, “But some with 
conscience of the things sacrificed to an idol. 95 ” Thus he neither exposed them openly, not 
to strike them hard; nor doth he pass by them altogether: but makes mention of them in a 
vague manner, saying, “Now some with conscience of the idol even until now eat as of a 
thing sacrificed to an idol; that is, with the same thoughts as they did in former times: ‘and 
their conscience being weak is defiled;’” not yet being able to despise and once for all laugh 
them to scorn, but still in some doubt. Just as if a man were to think that by touching a dead 
body he should pollute himself according to the Jewish custom, and then seeing others 
touching it with a clear conscience, but not with the same mind touching it himself, would 
be polluted. This was their state of feeling at that time. “For some,” saith he, “with conscience 
of the idol do it even until now.” Not without cause did he add, “even until now;” but to 
signify that they gained no ground by their refusing to condescend. For this was not the way 
to bring them in, but in some other way persuading them by word and by teaching. 

“And their conscience being weak is defiled.” No where as yet doth he state his argument 
about the nature of the thing, but turns himself this way and that as concerning the conscience 
of the person partaking. For he was afraid lest in his wish to correct the weak person, he 
should inflict a heavy blow upon the strong one, and make him also weak. On which account 
he spares the one no less than the other. Nor doth he allow the thing itself to be thought of 
any consequence, but makes his argument very full to prevent any suspicion of the kind. 

[9.] Ver. 8. “But meat doth not commend us to God. For neither if we eat are we the 
better, nor if we eat not are we the worse.” Do you see how again he takes down their high 
spirit? in that, after saying that “not only they but all of us have knowledge,” and that “no 

95 roO ei5wA.o0urou. rec. text. eiSuAou. 


Homily XX 

one knoweth any thing as he ought to know,” and that “knowledge puffeth up;” then having 
soothed them, and said that “this knowledge is not in all,” and that “weakness is the cause 
of these being defiled,” in order that they might not say, “And what is it to us, if knowledge 
be not in all? Why then has not such an one knowledge? Why is he weak?” — I say, in order 
that they might not rejoin in these terms, he did not proceed immediately to point out clearly 
that for fear of the other’s harm one ought to abstain: but having first made but a sort of 
skirmish upon mention of him, he points out what is more than this. What then is this? 
That although no one were injured nor any perversion of another ensued, not even in this 
case were it right so to do. For the former topic by itself is laboring in vain. Since he that 
hears of another being hurt while himself has the gain, is not very apt to abstain; but then 
rather he doth so, when he finds out that he himself is no way advantaged by the thing. 
Wherefore he sets this down first, saying, “But meat commendeth us not to God.” See how 
cheap he holds that which was accounted to spring from perfect knowledge! “For neither 
if we eat are we the better,” (that is, stand higher in God’s estimation, as if we had done any 
thing good or great:) “nor if we eat not are we the worse,” that is, fall in any way short of 
others. So far then he hath signified that the thing itself is superfluous, and as nothing. For 
that which being done profits not, and which being left undone injures not, must be super- 

[10.] But as he goes on, he discloses all the harm which was likely to arise from the 
matter. For the present, however, that which befel the brethren is his subject. 

Ver. 9. “For take heed,” saith he, “lest by any means this liberty of yours become a 
stumbling-block to the weak among the brethren.” (rcov dSsAcpcov not in rec. text.) 

He did not say, “Your liberty is become a stumbling-block,” nor did he positively affirm 
it that he might not make them more shameless; but how? “Take heed;” frightening them, 
and making them ashamed, and leading them to disavow any such conduct. And he said 
not, “This your knowledge,” which would have sounded more like praise; nor “this your 
perfectness;” but, “your liberty;” a thing which seemed to savor more of rashness and obstin- 
acy and arrogance. Neither said he, “To the brethren,” but, “To those of the brethren who 
are weak;” enhancing his accusation from their not even sparing the weak, and those too 
their brethren. For let it be so that you correct them not, nor arouse them: yet why trip them 
up, and make them to stumble, when you ought to stretch out the hand? but for that you 
have no mind: well then, at least avoid casting them down. Since if one were wicked, he re- 
quired punishment; if weak, healing: but now he is not only weak, but also a brother. 

Ver. 10. “For if a man see thee who hast knowledge, sitting at meat in an idol’s temple, 
will not his conscience if he is weak, be emboldened 96 to eat things sacrificed to idols?” 

96 oiKo5o^r]0fjaerai, “established,” “edified.” 


Homily XX 

After having said, “Take heed lest this your liberty become a stumbling-block,” he ex- 
plains how and in what manner it becomes so: and he continually employs the term 
“weakness,” that the mischief may not be thought to arise from the nature of the thing, nor 
demons appear formidable. As thus: “At present,” saith he, “a man is on the point of with- 
drawing himself entirely from all idols; but when he sees you fond of loitering about them, 
he takes the circumstance for a recommendation and abides there himself also. So that not 
only his weakness, but also your ill-timed behavior, helps to further the plot against him; 
for it is you who make him weaker.” 

Ver. 11. “And through thy meat he that is weak perisheth, the brother for whose sake 
Christ died.” 

For there are two things which deprive you of excuse in this mischief; one, that he is 
weak, the other, that he is thy brother: rather, I should say, there is a third also, and one 
more terrible than all. What then is this? That whereas Christ refused not even to die for 
him, thou canst not bear even to accommodate thyself to him. By these means, you see, he 
reminds the perfect man also, what he too was before, and that for him He died. And he 
said not, “For whom even to die was thy duty;” but what is much stronger, that even Christ 
died for his sake. “Did thy Lord then not refuse to die for him, and dost thou so make him 
of none account as not even to abstain from a polluted table for his sake? Yea, dost thou 
permit him to perish, after the salvation so wrought, and, what is still more grievous, ‘for a 
morsel of meat?’ “For he said not, “for thy perfectness,” nor “for thy knowledge,” but “for 
thy meat.” So that the charges are four, and these extremely heavy: that it was a brother, 
that he was weak, and one of whom Christ made so much account as even to die for him, 
and that after all this for a “morsel of meat” he is destroyed. 

Ver. 12. “And thus sinning against the brethren, and wounding their weak conscience, 
ye sin against Christ.” 

Do you observe how quietly and gradually he hath brought their offence up to the very 
summit of iniquity? And again, he makes mention of the infirmity of the other sort: and so, 
the very thing which these considered to make for them, that he every where turns round 
upon their own head. And he said not, “Putting stumbling-blocks in their way,” but, 
“wounding;” so as by the force of his expression to indicate their cruelty. For what can be 
more savage than a man who wounds the sick? and yet no wound is so grievous as making 
a man to stumble. Often, in fact, is this also the cause of death. 

But how do they “sin against Christ?” In one way, because He considers the concerns 
of His servants as His own; in another, because those who are wounded go to make up His 
Body and that which is part of Him: in a third way, because that work of His which He built 
up by His own blood, these are destroying for their ambition’s sake. 

97 fSpwaet, rec. text yvwaei, Comp. Rom. xiv. 15. 


Homily XX 

[11.] Ver. 13. “Wherefore, if meat make my brother to stumble, I will eat no flesh for 
ever.” This is like the best of teachers, to teach in his own person the things which he speaks. 
Nor did he say whether justly or unjustly; but in any case. “I say not,” (such is his tone,) 
“meat offered in sacrifice to an idol, which is already prohibited for another reason; but if 
any even of those things which are within license and are permitted causes stumbling, from 
these also will I abstain: and not one or two days, but all the time of my life.” For he saith, 
“I will eat no flesh for ever.” And he said not, “Lest I destroy my brother,” but simply, “That 
I make not my brother to stumble.” For indeed it comes of folly in the extreme that what 
things are greatly cared for by Christ, and such as He should have even chosen to die for 
them, these we should esteem so entirely beneath our notice as not even to abstain from 
meats on their account. 

Now these things might be seasonably spoken not to them only, but also to us, apt as 
we are to esteem lightly the salvation of our neighbors and to utter those satanical words. I 
say, satanical: for the expression, “What care I, though such an one stumble, and such an- 
other perish?” savors of his cruelty and inhuman mind. And yet in that instance, the infirmity 
also of those who were offended had some share in the result: but in our case it is not so, 
sinning as we do in such a way as to offend even the strong. For when we smite, and raven, 
and overreach, and use the free as if they were slaves, whom is not this enough to offend? 
Tell me not of such a man’s being a shoemaker, another a dyer, another a brazier: but bear 
in mind that he is a believer and a brother. Why these are they whose disciples we are; the 
fishermen, the publicans, the tent-makers, of Him who was brought up in the house of a 
carpenter; and who deigned to have the carpenter’s betrothed wife for a mother; and who 
was laid, after His swaddling clothes, in a manger; and who had not where to lay His head; — of 
Him whose journeys were so long that His very journeying was enough to tire Him down; 
of Him who was supported by others. 

[12.] Think on these things, and esteem the pride of man to be nothing. But count the 
tent-maker as well as thy brother, as him that is borne upon a chariot and hath innumerable 
servants and struts in the market-place: nay, rather the former than the latter; since the term 
brother would more naturally be used where there is the greater resemblance. Which then 
resembles the fisherman? He who is supported by daily labor and hath neither servant nor 
dwelling, but is quite beset with privations; or that other who is surrounded with such vast 
pomp, and who acts contrary to the laws of God? Despise not then him that is more of the 
two thy brother, for he comes nearer to the Apostolic pattern. 

“Not however,” say you, “of his own accord, but by compulsion; for he doeth not this 
of his own mind.” How comes this? Hast thou not heard, “Judge not, that ye be not judged?” 
But, to convince thyself that he doeth it not against his inclination, approach and give him 
ten thousand talents of gold, and thou shalt see him putting it away from him. And thus, 
even though he have received no wealth by inheritance from his ancestors, yet when it is in 


Homily XX 

his power to take it, and he lets it not come near him neither adds to his goods, he exhibits 
a mighty proof of his contempt of wealth. For so John was the son ofZebedee that extremely 
poor man: yet I suppose we are not therefore to say that his poverty was forced upon him. 

Whensoever then thou seest one driving nails, smiting with a hammer, covered with 
soot, do not therefore hold him cheap, but rather for that reason admire him. Since even 
Peter girded himself, and handled the dragnet, and went a fishing after the Resurrection of 
the Lord. 

And why say I Peter? For this same Paul himself, after his incessant runnings to and fro 
and all those vast miracles, standing in a tent-maker’s shop, sewed hides together: while 
angels were reverencing him and demons trembling. And he was not ashamed to say, (Acts 
xx. 34.) “Unto my necessities, and to those who were with me, these hands ministered.” 
What say I, that he was not ashamed? Yea, he gloried in this very thing. 

But you will say, “Who is there now to be compared with the virtue of Paul?” I too am 
aware that there is no one, yet not on this account are those who live now to be despised: 
for if for Christ’s sake thou give honor, though one be last of all, yet if he be a believer he 
shall justly be honored. For suppose a general and a common soldier both present themselves 
before you, being friends of the king, and you open your house to both: in which of their 
persons would you seem to pay most honor to the king? Plainly in that of a soldier. For 
there were in the general, beside his loyalty to the king, many other things apt to win such 
a mark of respect from you: but the soldier had nothing else but his loyalty to the king. 

Wherefore God bade us call to our suppers and our feasts the lame, and the maimed, 
and those who cannot repay us; for these are most of all properly called good deeds which 
are done for God’s sake. Whereas if thou entertain some great and distinguished man, it is 
not such pure mercy, what thou doest: but some portion many times is assigned to thyself 
also, both by vain-glory, and by the return of the favor, and by thy rising in many men’s 
estimation on account of thy guest. At any rate, I think I could point out many who with 
this view pay court to the more distinguished among the saints, namely, that by their means 
they may enjoy a greater intimacy with rulers, and that they may find them thenceforth 
more useful in their own affairs and to their families. And many such favors do they ask in 
recompense from those saints; a thing which mars the repayment of their hospitality, they 
seeking it with such a mind. 

And why need I say this about the saints? Since he who seeks, even from God, the reward 
of his labors in the present life and follows after virtue for this world’s good, is sure to dimin- 
ish his recompense. But he that asks for all his crowns wholly there, is found far more ad- 
mirable; like that Lazarus, who even now is “receiving” (St. Luke xvi. 25.) there all “his good 
things;” like those Three Children, who when they were on the point of being thrown into 

98 (TEpRerod n itpoi; ae. 


Homily XX 

the furnace said, (Dan. xvii. 17, 18.) “There is a God in heaven able to deliver us; and if not, 
be it known unto thee, O king, that we serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image 
which thou hast set up:” like Abraham, who even offered" his son and slew him; and this 
he did, not for any reward, but esteeming this one thing the greatest recompense, to obey 
the Lord. 

These let us also imitate. For so shall we be visited with a return of all our good deeds 
and that abundantly, because we do all with such a mind as this: so shall we obtain also the 
brighter crowns. And God grant that we may all obtain them, through the grace and loving- 
kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom, to the Father and the Holy Spirit, be glory, 
power, honor, now, henceforth, and for everlasting ages. Amen. 

99 dvrjYOtye. 


Homily XXI 

Homily XXL 

1 Cor. ix. 1 

Am I not an Apostle ? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work 
in the Lord? 

Inasmuch as he had said, “If meat make my brother to stumble I will eat no flesh forever;” 
a thing which he had not yet done, but professed he would do if need require: lest any man 
should say, “Thou vauntest thyself at random, and art severe in discourse, and utterest words 
of promise, a thing easy to me or to any body; but if these sayings come from thy heart, shew 
by deeds something which thou hast slighted in order to avoid making thy brother stumble:” 
for this cause, I say, in what follows he is compelled to enter on the proof of this also, and 
to point out how he was used to forego even things permitted that he might not give offence, 
although without any law to enforce his doing so. 

And we are not yet come to the admirable part of the matter: though it be admirable 
that he abstain even from things lawful to avoid offence: but it is his habit of doing so at the 
cost of so much trouble and danger 100 . “For why,” saith he, “speak of the idol sacrifices? 
Since although Christ had enjoined that those who preach the Gospel should live at the 
charge of their disciples, I did not so, but chose, if need were, to end my life with famine 
and die the most grievous of deaths, so I might avoid receiving of those whom I instruct.” 
Not because they would otherwise be made to stumble, but because his not receiving 
would edify them 101 : a much greater thing for him to do. And to witness this he summons 
themselves, among whom he was used to live in toil and in hunger, nourished by others, 
and put to straits, in order not to offend them. And yet there was no ground for their taking 
offence, for it would but have been a law which he was fulfilling. But for all this, by a sort 
of supererogation he used to spare them. 

Now if he did more than was enacted lest they should take offence, and abstained from 
permitted things to edify others; what must they deserve who abstain not from idol sacrifices? 
and that, when many perish thereby? a thing which even apart from all scandal one ought 
to shrink from, as being “the table of demons.” 

The sum therefore of this whole topic is this which he works out in many verses. But 
we must resume it and make a fresh entrance on what he hath alleged. For neither hath he 
set it down thus expressly as I have worded it; nor doth he leap at once upon it; but begins 
from another topic, thus speaking; 

100 The reading here adopted is Savile’s. 

101 A slight transposition has been made here: the sense seeming to require it. 

102 £K Tteptouataq. 


Homily XXI 

[2.] “Am I not an Apostle?” For besides all that hath been said, this also makes no small 
difference that Paul himself is the person thus conducting himself. As thus: T o prevent their 
alleging, “You may taste of the sacrifices, sealing at the same time:” for a while he with- 
stands not that statement, but argues, “Though it were lawful, your brethren’s harm should 
keep you from doing so;” and afterwards he proves that it is not even lawful. In this partic- 
ular place, however, he establishes the former point from circumstances relating to himself. 
And intending presently to say that he had received nothing from them, he sets it not down 
at once, but his own dignity is what he first affirms: “Am I not an Apostle? am I not free?” 
Thus, to hinder their saying, “True; thou didst not receive, but the reason thou didst 
not was its not being lawful;” he sets down therefore first the causes why he might reasonably 
have received, had he been willing to do so. 

Further: that there might not seem to be any thing invidious in regard of Peter and such 
as Peter, in his saying these things, (for they did not use to decline receiving;) he first shows 
that they had authority to receive, and then that no one might say, “Peter had authority to 
receive but thou hadst not,” he possesses the hearer beforehand with these encomiums of 
himself. And perceiving that he must praise himself, (for that was the way to correct the 
Corinthians,) yet disliking to say any great thing of himself, see how he hath tempered both 
feelings as the occasion required: limiting his own panegyric, not by what he knew of himself, 
but by what the subject of necessity required. For he might have said, “I most of all had a 
right to receive, even more than they, because ‘I labored more abundantly than they.’” But 
this he omits, being a point wherein he surpassed them; and those points wherein they were 
great and which were just grounds for their receiving, those only he sets down: as follows: 
“Am I not an Apostle? am I not free?” i.e. “have I not authority over myself? am I under 
any, to overrule me and forbid my receiving?” 

“But they have an advantage over you, in having been with Christ.” 

“Nay, neither is this denied me.” With a view to which he saith, 

“Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord?” For “last of all,” (c. xv. 8.) saith he, “as unto 
one born out of due time, He appeared unto me also.” Now this likewise was no small dignity: 
since “many Prophets,” (S. Matt. xiii. 17.) saith He, “and righteous men have desired to see 
the things which ye see, and have not seen them:” and, “Days will come when ye shall desire 
to see one of these days.” (S. Luke xvii. 22.) 

“What then, though thou be ‘an Apostle,’ and ‘free,’ and hast ‘seen Christ,’ if thou hast 
not exhibited any work of an Apostle; how then can it be right for thee to receive?” Wherefore 
after this he adds, 

“Are not ye my work in the Lord?” For this is the great thing; and those others avail 
nothing, apart from this. Even Judas himself was “an Apostle,” and “free,” and “saw Christ;” 

103 i.e. making the sign of the Cross: acppayf^ovri. 


Homily XXI 

but because he had not “the work of an Apostle,” all those things profited him not. You see 
then why he adds this also, and calls themselves to be witnesses of it. 

Moreover, because it was a great thing which he had uttered, see how he chastens it, 
adding, “In the Lord:” i.e., “the work is God’s, not mine.” 

Ver. 2. “If to others I am not an Apostle, yet at least I am to you.” 

Do you see how far he is from enlarging here without necessity? And yet he had the 
whole world to speak of, and barbarous nations, and sea and land. However, he mentions 
none of these things, but carries his point by concession, and even granting more than he 
need. As if he had said, “Why need I dwell on things over and above, since these even alone 
are enough for my present purpose? I speak not, you will observe, of my achievements in 
other quarters, but of those which have you for witnesses. Upon which it follows that if from 
no other quarter, yet from you I have a right to receive. Nevertheless, from whom I had 
most right to receive, even you whose teacher I was, from those I received not.” 

“If to others I am not an Apostle, yet at least I am to you.” Again, he states his point by 
concession. For the whole world had him for its Apostle. “However,” saith he, “I say not 
that, I am not contending nor disputing, but what concerns you I lay down. ‘For the seal of 
mine Apostleship are ye:’” i.e., its proof. “Should any one, moreover, desire to learn whence 
I am an Apostle, you are the persons whom I bring forward: for all the signs of an Apostle 
have I exhibited among you, and not one have I failed in.” As also he speaks in the Second 
Epistle, saying, (2 Cor. xii. 12.) “Though I am nothing, truly the signs of an Apostle were 
wrought among you in all patience, by signs and wonders and mighty works. For what is 
there wherein ye were made inferior to the rest of the Churches?” Wherefore he saith, “The 
seal of mine Apostleship are ye.” “For I both exhibited miracles, and taught by word, and 
underwent dangers, and shewed forth a blameless life.” And these topics you may see fully 
set forth by these two Epistles, how he lays before them the demonstration of each with all 

[3.] Ver. 3. “My defence to them that examine me is this.” What is, “My defence to them 
that examine me is this?” “To those who seek to know whereby I am proved to be an Apostle, 
or who accuse me as receiving money, or inquire the cause of my not receiving, or would 
fain shew that I am not an Apostle: to all such, my instruction given to you and these things 
which I am about to say, may stand for a full explanation and defence.” What then are these? 

Ver. 4, 5. “Have we no right to eat and to drink? Have we no right to lead about a wife 
that is a believer?” Why, how are these sayings a defence? “Because, when it appears that I 
abstain even from things which are allowed, it cannot be just to look suspiciously on me as 
a deceiver or one acting for gain.” 

Wherefore, from what was before alleged and from my having instructed you and from 
this which I have now said, I have matter sufficient to make my defence to you: and all who 
examine me I meet upon this ground, alleging both what has gone before and this which 


Homily XXI 

follows: “Have we no right to eat and to drink? have we no right to lead about a wife that is 
a believer? “Yet for all this, having it I abstain?” 

What then? did he not use to eat or to drink? It were most true to say that in many 
places he really did not eat nor drink: for (c. iv. 1 1 .) “in hunger,” saith he, “and in thirst, and 
in nakedness” we were abiding.” Here, however, this is not his meaning; but what? “We eat 
not nor drink, receiving of those whom we instruct, though we have a right so to receive.” 
“Have we no right to lead about a wife that is a believer, even as the rest of the Apostles, 
and the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?” Observe his skilfulness. The leader of the choir 
stands last in his arrangement: since that is the time for laying down the strongest of all 
one’s topics. Nor was it so wonderful for one to be able to point out examples of this conduct 
in the rest, as in the foremost champion and in him who was entrusted with the keys of 
heaven. But neither does he mention Peter alone, but all of them: as if he had said, Whether 
you seek the inferior sort or the more eminent, in all you find patterns of this sort. 

For the brethren too of the Lord, being freed from their first unbelief (vid. S. John vii. 
5.), had come to be among those who were approved, although they attained not to the 
Apostles. And accordingly the middle place is that which he hath assigned to them, setting 
down those who were in the extremes before and after. 

Ver. 6. “Or I only and Barnabas, have we not a right to forbear working?” 

(See his humility of mind and his soul pure from envy, how he takes care not to conceal 
him whom he knew to be a partaker with himself in this perfection.) For if the other things 
be common, how is not this common? Both they and we are apostles and are free, and have 
seen Christ, and have exhibited the works of Apostles. Therefore we likewise have a right 
both to live without working and to be supported by our disciples. 

[4.] Ver. 7. “What soldier ever serveth at his own charges?” For since, which was the 
strongest point, he had proved from the Apostles that it is lawful to do so, he next comes to 
examples and to the common practice; as he uses to do: “What soldier serveth at his own 
charges?” saith he. But do thou consider, I pray, how very suitable are the examples to his 
proposed subject, and how he mentions first that which is accompanied with danger; viz. 
soldiership and arms and wars. For such a kind of thing was the Apostolate, nay rather much 
more hazardous than these. For not with men alone was their warfare, but with demons 
also, and against the prince of those beings was their battle array. What he saith therefore 
is this: “Not even do heathen governors, cruel and unjust as they are, require their soldiers 
to endure service and peril and live on their own means. How then could Christ ever have 
required this?” 

Nor is he satisfied with one example. For to him who is rather simple and dull, this also 
is wont to come as a great refreshment, viz. their seeing the common custom also going 
along with the laws of God. Wherefore he proceeds to another topic also and says, “Who 


Homily XXI 

planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof?” For as by the former he indicated 
his dangers, so by this his labor and abundant travail and care. 

He adds likewise a third example, saying, “Who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the 
milk thereof?” He is exhibiting the great concern which it becomes a teacher to show for 
those who are under his rule. For, in fact, the Apostles were both soldiers and husbandmen 
and shepherds, not of the earth nor of irrational animals, nor in such wars as are perceptible 
by sense; but of reasonable souls and in battle array with the demons. 

It also must be remarked how every where he preserves moderation, seeking the useful 
only, not the extraordinary. For he said not, “What soldier serveth and is not enriched?” 
but, “What soldier ever serveth at his own charges?” Neither did he say, “Who planteth a 
vineyard, and gathereth not gold, or spareth to collect the whole fruit?” but, “Who eateth 
not of the fruit thereof?” Neither did he say, “Who feedeth a flock, and maketh not mer- 
chandize of the lambs?” But what? “And eateth not of the milk thereof?” Not of the lambs, 
but of the milk; signifying, that a little relief should be enough for the teacher, even his ne- 
cessary food alone. (This refers to those who would devour all and gather the whole of the 
fruit.) “So likewise the Lord ordained,” saying, “The laborer is worthy of his food.” (St. Matt, 
x. 10.) 

And not this only doth he establish by his illustrations, but he shows also what kind of 
man a priest ought to be. For he ought to possess both the courage of a soldier and the dili- 
gence of a husbandman and the carefulness of a shepherd, and after all these, to seek nothing 
more than necessaries. 

[5.] Having shewn, as you see, both from the Apostles, that it is not forbidden the 
teacher to receive, and from illustrations found in common life, he proceeds also to a third 
head, thus saying, 

Ver. 8. “Do I speak these things after the manner of men? or saith not the law also the 

For since he had hitherto alleged nothing out of the Scriptures, but put forward the 
common custom; “think not,” saith he, “that I am confident in these alone, nor that I go to 
the opinions of men for the ground of these enactments. For I can shew that these things 
are also well-pleasing to God, and I read an ancient law enjoining them.” Wherefore also 
he carries on his discourse in the form of a question, which is apt to be done in things fully 
acknowledged; thus saying, “Say I these things after the manner of men?” i.e. “do I strengthen 
myself only by human examples?” “or saith not the law also the same?” 

Ver. 9. “For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shaft not muzzle the ox when he 
treadeth out the corn.” 

And on what account hath he mentioned this, having the example of the priests? 
Wishing to establish it far beyond what the case required. Further, lest any should say, “And 
what have we to do with the saying about the oxen?” he works it out more exactly, saying, 


Homily XXI 

“Is it for the oxen that God careth;” Doth God then, tell me, take no care for oxen? Well, 
He doth take care of them, but not so as to make a law concerning such a thing as this. So 
that had he not been hinting at something important, training the Jews to mercy in the case 
of the brutes, and through these, discoursing with them of the teachers also; he would not 
have taken so much interest as even to make a law to forbid the muzzling of oxen. 

Wherein he points out another thing likewise, that the labor of teachers both is and 
ought to be great. 

And again another thing. What then is this? That whatever is said by the Old Testament 
respecting care for brutes, in its principal meaning bears on the instruction of human beings: 
as in fact do all the rest: the precepts, for example, concerning various garments; and those 
concerning vineyards and seeds and not making the ground bear divers crops, 104 and those 
concerning leprosy; and, in a word, all the rest: for they being of a duller sort He was dis- 
coursing with them from these topics, advancing them by little and little. 

And see how in what follows he doth not even confirm it, as being clear and self-evident. 
For having said, “Is it for the oxen that God careth?” he added, “or saith he it altogether for 
our sake?” Not adding even the “altogether” at random, but that he might not leave the 
hearer any thing whatever to reply. 

And he dwells upon the metaphor, saying and declaring, “Yea for our sakes it was 
written, because he who ploweth ought to plow in hope;” i.e., the teacher ought to enjoy the 
returns of his labors; “and he that thresheth ought to thresh in hope of partaking.” And 
observe his wisdom in that from the seed he transferred the matter to the threshing floor; 
herein also again manifesting the many toils of the teachers, that they in their own persons 
both plough and tread the floor. And of the ploughing, because there was nothing to reap, 
but labor only, he used the word, “hope;” but of treading the floor he presently allows the 
fruit, saying, “He that thresheth is a partaker of his hope.” 

Further, lest any should say, “Is this then the return for so many toils,” he adds, “in 
hope,” i.e., “which is to come.” No other thing therefore doth the mouth of this animal being 
unmuzzled declare than this; that the teachers who labor ought also to enjoy some return. 

[6.] Ver. 11. “If we sowed unto you spiritual things, is it a great matter if we shall reap 
your carnal things?” 

Lo, he adds also a fourth argument for the duty of yielding support. For since he had 
said, “What soldier ever serveth at his own charges?” and, “who planteth a vineyard?” and, 
“who feedeth a flock?” and introduced the ox that treadeth the corn; he points out likewise 
another most reasonable cause on account of which they might justly receive; viz. having 
bestowed much greater gifts, no more as having labored only. What is it then? “if we sowed 
unto you spiritual things, is it a great matter if we shall reap your carnal things?” Seest thou 

104 Siacpopov Ttcneiv rijv yr|v. See Deut. xxii. 9. LXX. 


Homily XXI 

a most just allegation and fuller of reason than all the former? for “in those instances,” says 
he, “carnal is the seed, carnal also is the fruit; but here not so, but the seed is spiritual, the 
return carnal.” Thus, to prevent high thoughts in those who contribute to their teachers, he 
signified that they receive more than they give. As if he had said, “Husbandmen, whatsoever 
they sow, this also do they receive; but we, sowing in your souls spiritual things, do reap 
carnal.” For such is the kind of support given by them. Further, and still more to put them 
to the blush. 

Ver. 12. “If others partake of this right over you, do not we yet more?” 

See also again another argument, and this too from examples though not of the same 
kind. For it is not Peter whom he mentions here nor the Apostles, but certain other spurious 
ones, with whom he afterwards enters into combat, and concerning whom he says, (2 Cor. 
xi. 20.) “If a man devour you, if he take you captive, if he exalt himself, if he smite you on 
the face,” and already he is sounding the prelude 105 to the fight with them. Wherefore 
neither did he say, “If others take of you,” but pointing out their insolence and tyranny and 
trafficking, he says, “if others partake of this right over you,” i.e., “rule you, exercise authority, 
use you as servants, not taking you captive only, but with much authority.” Wherefore he 
added “do not we yet more?” which he would not have said if the discourse were concerning 
the Apostles. But it is evident that he hints at certain pestilent men, and deceivers of them. 
“So that besides the law of Moses even ye yourselves have made a law in behalf of the duty 
of contribution.” 

And having said, “do not we yet more?” he does not prove why yet more, but leaves it 
to their consciences to convince them of that, wishing at the same time both to alarm and 
to abash them more thoroughly. 

[7.] Nevertheless, we did not use this right;” i.e., “did not receive.” Do you see, when he 
had by so many reasons before proved that receiving is not unlawful, how he next says, “we 
receive not,” that he might not seem to abstain as from a thing forbidden? “For not because 
it is unlawful,” saith he, “do I not receive; for it is lawful and this we have many ways shown: 
from the Apostles; from the affairs of life, the soldier, the husbandman, and the shepherd; 
from the law of Moses; from the very nature of the case, in that we have sown unto you 
spiritual things; from what yourselves have done to others.” But as he had laid down these 
things, lest he should seem to put to shame the Apostles who were in the habit of receiving; 
abashing them and signifying that not as from a forbidden thing doth he abstain from it: so 
again, lest by his large store of proof and the examples and reasonings by which he had 
pointed out the propriety of receiving, he should seem to be anxious to receive himself and 
therefore to say these things; he now corrects it. And afterwards he laid it down more clearly 

105 TtpoavaKpouerai. 


Homily XXI 

where he says, “And I wrote not these things, that it may be so done in my case;” but here 
his words are, “we did not use this right.” 

And what is a still greater thing, neither could any have this to say, that being in 
abundance we declined using it; rather, when necessity pressed upon us we would not yield 
to the necessity. Which also in the second Epistle he says; “I robbed other Churches, taking 
wages of them that I might minister unto you; and when I was present with you, and was 
in want, I was not a burden on any man.” (2 Cor. xi. 8, 9.) And in this Epistle again, “We 
both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted.” (1 Cor. iv. 11.) And here again 
he hints the same thing, saying, “But we bear all things.” For by saying, “we bear all things,” 
he intimates both hunger and great straits and all the other things. “But not even thus have 
we been compelled,” saith he, “to break the law which we laid down for ourselves. Wherefore? 
“that we may cause no hinderance to the Gospel of Christ.” For since the Corinthians were 
rather weak-minded, “lest we should wound you,” saith he “by receiving, we chose to do 
even more than was commanded rather than hinder the Gospel,” i.e., your instruction. Now 
if we in a matter left free to us, and when we were both enduring much hardship and having 
Apostles for our pattern, used abstinence lest we should give hindrance, (and he did not 
say, “subversion,” but “hindrance;” nor simply “hindrance,” but “any” hindrance,) that we 
might not, so to speak, cause so much as the slightest suspense and delay to the course of 
the Word: “If now,” saith he, “we used so great care, how much more ought you to abstain, 
who both come far short of the Apostles and have no law to mention, giving you permission: 
but contrariwise are both putting your hand to things forbidden and things which tend to 
the great injury of the Gospel, not to its hindrance only 106 ; and not even having any pressing 
necessity in view.” For all this discussion he had moved on account of these Corinthians, 
who were making their weaker brethren to stumble by eating of things sacrificed to idols. 

[8.] These things also let us listen to, beloved; that we may not despise those who are 
offended, nor, “cause any hindrance to the Gospel of Christ;” that we may not betray our 
own salvation. And say not thou to me when thy brother is offended, “this or that, whereby 
he is offended, hath not been forbidden; it is permitted.” For I have something greater to 
say to thee: “although Christ Himself have permitted it, yet if thou seest any injured, stop 
and do not use the permission.” For this also did Paul; when he might have received, Christ 
having granted permission, he received not. Thus hath our Ford in His mercy mingled much 
gentleness with His precepts that it might not be all merely of commandment, but that we 
might do much also of our own mind. Since it was in His power, had He not been so minded, 
to extend the commandments further and to say, “he who fasts not continually, let him be 
chastised; he who keeps not his virginity, let him be punished; he that doth not strip himself 

106 The reading seems imperfect, and unintelligible: it is rendered as if it were, ouk sin rw eyKonriv povov 


Homily XXI 

of all that he hath, let him suffer the severest penalty.” But he did not so, giving thee occasion, 
if thou wilt, to be forward in doing more. Wherefore both when He was discoursing about 
virginity, He said, “He that is able to receive, let him receive it:” and in the case of the rich 
man, some things He commanded, but some He left to the determination of his mind. For 
He said not, “Sell what thou hast,” but, “If thou wilt be perfect, sell.” 

But we are not only not forward to do more, and to go beyond the precepts, but we fall 
very short even of the measure of things commanded. And whereas Paul suffered hunger 
that he might not hinder the Gospel; we have not the heart even to touch what is in our own 
stores, though we see innumerable souls overthrown. “Yea” saith one, “let the moth eat, and 
let not the poor eat; let the worm devour, and let not the naked be clothed; let all be wasted 
away with time, and let not Christ be fed; and this when He hungereth.” “Why, who said 
this?” it will be asked. Nay, this is the very grievance, that not in words but in deeds these 
things are said: for it were less grievous uttered in words than done in deeds. For is not this 
the cry, day by day, of the inhuman and cruel tyrant, Covetousness, to those who are led 
captive by her? “Let your goods be set before informers and robbers and traitors for luxury, 
and not before the hungry and needy for their sustenance.” Is it not ye then who make 
robbers? Is it not ye who minister fuel to the fire of the envious? Is it not ye who make vag- 
abonds and traitors, putting your wealth before them for a bait? What madness is this? (for 
a madness it is, and plain distraction,) to fill your chests with apparel, and overlook him 
that is made after God’s image and similitude, naked and trembling with cold, and with 
difficulty keeping himself upright. 

“But he pretends,” saith one, “this tremor and weakness.” And dost thou not fear lest a 
thunderbolt from heaven, kindled by this word, should fall upon thee? (For I am bursting 
with wrath: bear with me.) Thou, I say, pampering and fattening thyself and extending thy 
potations to the dead of night and comforting thyself in soft coverlets, dost not deem thyself 
liable to judgment, so lawlessly using the gifts of God: (for wine was not made that we should 
be drunken; nor food, that we should pamper our appetites; nor meats, that we should distend 
the belly.) But from the poor, the wretched, from him that is as good as dead, from him 
demandest thou strict accounts, and dost thou not fear Christ’s tribunal, so full of all awful- 
ness and terror? Why, if he do play the hypocrite, he doth it of necessity and want, because 
of thy cruelty and inhumanity, requiring the use of such masks and refusing all inclination 
to mercy. For who is so wretched and miserable as without urgent necessity, for one loaf of 
bread, to submit to such disgrace, and to bewail himself and endure so severe a punishment? 
So that this hypocrisy of his goeth about, the herald of thine inhumanity. For since by sup- 
plicating and beseeching and uttering piteous expressions and lamenting and weeping and 
going about all day, he doth not obtain even necessary food, he devised perhaps even this 
contrivance also, the disgrace and blame whereof falls not so much on himself as on thee: 
for he indeed is meet to be pitied because he hath fallen into so great necessity; but we are 


Homily XXI 

worthy of innumerable punishments because we compel the poor to suffer such things. For 
if we would easily give way, never would he have chosen to endure such things. 

And why speak I of nakedness and trembling? For I will tell a thing yet more to be 
shuddered at, that some have been compelled even to deprive their children of sight at an 
early age in order that they might touch our insensibility. For since when they could see and 
went about naked, neither by their age nor by their misfortunes could they win favor of the 
unpitying, they added to so great evils another yet sterner tragedy, that they might remove 
their hunger; thinking it to be a lighter thing to be deprived of this common light and that 
sunshine which is given to all, than to struggle with continual famine and endure the most 
miserable of deaths. Thus, since you have not learned to pity poverty, but delight yourselves 
in misfortunes, they satisfy your insatiable desire, and both for themselves and for us kindle 
a fiercer flame in hell. 

[9.] And to convince you that this is the reason why these and such like things are done, 
I will tell you of an acknowledged proof which no man can gainsay. There are other poor 
men, of light and unsteady minds and not knowing how to bear hunger, but rather enduring 
every thing than it. These having often tried to deal with us by piteous gestures and words 
and finding that they availed nothing, have left off those supplications and henceforward 
our very wonder-workers are surpassed by them, some chewing the skins of worn-out shoes, 
and some fixing sharp nails into their heads, others lying about in frozen pools with naked 
stomachs, and others enduring different things yet more horrid than these, that they may 
draw around them the ungodly spectators. And thou, while these things are going on, 
standest laughing and wondering the while and making a fine show of other men’s miseries, 
our common nature disgracing itself. And what could a fierce demon do more? Next, you 
give him money in abundance that he may do these things more promptly. And to him that 
prays and calls on God and approaches with modesty, you vouchsafe neither an answer nor 
a look: rather you utter to him, continually teazing you, those disgusting expressions, “Ought 
this fellow to live? or at all to breathe and see this sun?” whereas to the other sort you are 
both cheerful and liberal, as though you were appointed to dispense the prize of that ridicu- 
lous and Satanic unseemliness. Wherefore with more propriety to those who appoint these 
sports and bestow nothing till they see others punishing themselves, might these words be 
addressed, “Ought these men to live, to breathe at all, or see the sun, who transgress against 
our common nature, who insult God?” For whereas God saith, “Give alms, and I give thee 
the kingdom of heaven,” thou hearest not: but when the Devil shews thee a head pierced 
with nails, on a sudden thou hast become liberal. And the contrivance of the evil spirit 
pregnant with so much mischief, hath wrought upon thee more than the promise of God 
bringing innumerable blessings. If gold were to be laid down to prevent the doing of these 
things or the looking upon them when done, there is nothing which thou oughtest not to 
practise and endure, to get rid of so excessive madness; but ye contrive every thing to have 


Homily XXI 

them done, and look on the doing of them. Still askest thou then, tell me, to what end is 
hell-fire? Nay, ask not that any more, but how is there one hell only? For of how many 
punishments are not they worthy, who get up this cruel and merciless spectacle and laugh 
at what both they and yourselves ought to weep over; yea, rather of the two, ye who compel 
them to such unseemly doings. 

“But I do not compel them,” say you. What else but compelling is it, I should like to 
know? Those who are more modest and shed tears and invoke God, thou art impatient even 
of listening to; but for these thou both findest silver in abundance and bringest around thee 
many to admire them. 

“Well, let us leave off,” say you, “pitying them. And dost thou too enjoin this?” Nay, it 
is not pity, O man, to demand so severe a punishment for a few pence, to order men to 
maim themselves for necessary food and cut into many pieces the skin of their head so 
mercilessly and pitifully. “Gently,” say you, “for it is not we who pierce those heads.” Would 
it were thou, and the horror would not be so horrible. For he that slays a man does a much 
more grievous thing than he who bids him slay himself, which indeed happens in the 
case of these persons. For they endure more bitter pains when they are bidden to be them- 
selves the executors of these wicked commands. 

And all this in Antioch, where men were first called Christians, wherein are bred the 
most civilized of mankind, where in old time the fruit of charity flourished so abundantly. 
For not only to those at hand but also to those very far off, they used to send, and this when 
famine was expected. 

[10.] What then ought we to do? say you. To cease from this savage practice: and to 
convince all that are in need that by doing these things they will gain nothing, but if they 
modestly approach they shall find your liberality great. Let them be once aware of this, even 
though they be of all men most miserable, they will never choose to punish themselves so 
severely, I pledge myself; nay, they will even give you thanks for delivering them both from 
the mockery and the pain of that way of life. But as it is, for charioteers you would let out 
even your own children, and for dancers you would throw away your very souls, while for 
Christ an hungered you spare not the smallest portion of your substance. But if you give a 
little silver, you think as much of it as if you had laid out all you have, not knowing that not 
the giving but the giving liberally, this is true almsgiving. Wherefore also it is not those 
simply who give whom the prophet proclaims and calls happy, but those who bestow liberally. 
For he doth not say simply, He hath given, but what? (Ps. cxii. 8.) “he hath dispersed abroad, 
he hath given to the poor.” For what profit is it, when out of it thou givest as it were a glass 
of water out of the sea, and even a widow’s magnanimity is beyond thy emulation? And 
how wilt thou say, “Pity me, O Lord, according to thy great pity, and according to the mul- 

107 xoAcrcwrepov; the sense seems to require “ less grievous:” perhaps the negative has slipped out of the text. 


Homily XXI 

titude of thy mercies blot out my transgression,” thyself not pitying according to any great 
pity, nay, haply not according to any little. For I am greatly ashamed, I own, when I see 
many of the rich riding upon their golden-bitted chargers with a train of domestics clad in 
gold, and having couches of silver and other and more pomp, and yet when there is need 
to give to a poor man, becoming more beggarly than the very poorest. 

[11.] But what is their constant talk? “He hath,” they say, “the common church-allow- 
ance.” And what is that to thee? For thou wilt not be saved because I give; nor if the Church 
bestow hast thou blotted out thine own sins. For this cause givest thou not, because the 
Church ought to give to the needy? Because the priests pray, wilt thou never pray thyself? 
And because others fast, wilt thou be continually drunken? Knowest thou not that God 
enacted not almsgiving so much for the sake of the poor as for the sake of the persons 
themselves who bestow? 

But dost thou suspect the priest? Why this thing itself, to begin with, is a grievous sin. 
However, I will not examine the matter too nicely. Do thou it all in thine own person, and 
so shalt thou reap a double reward. Since in fact, what we say in behalf of almsgiving, we 
say not, that thou shouldest offer to us, but that thou shouldest thyself minister by thine 
own hands. For if thou bringest thine alms to me, perhaps thou mayest even be led captive 
by vain-glory, and oftentimes likewise thou shalt go away offended through suspicion of 
something evil: but if ye do all things by yourselves, ye shall both be rid of offences and of 
unreasonable suspicion, and greater is your reward. Not therefore to compel you to bring 
your money hither, do I say these things; nor from indignation on account of the priests 
being ill-reported of. For if one must be indignant and grieve, for you should be our grief, 
who say this ill. Since to them who are spoken ill of falsely and vainly the reward is greater, 
but to the speakers the condemnation and punishment is heavier. I say not these things 
therefore in their behalf, but in solicitude and care for you. For what marvel is it if some in 
our generation are suspected, when in the case of those holy men who imitated the angels, 
who possessed nothing of their own, I mean the Apostles, there was a murmuring in the 
ministration to the widows (Acts vi. 1.) that the poor were overlooked? when “not one said 
that aught of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things common?” (Acts 
iv. 32.) 

Let us not then put forward these pretexts, nor account it an excuse that the Church is 
wealthy. But when you see the greatness of her substance, bear in mind also the crowds of 
poor who are on her list, the multitudes of her sick, her occasions of endless expenses. In- 
vestigate, scrutinize, there is none to forbid, nay, they are even ready to give you an account. 
But I wish to go much farther. Namely, when we have given in our accounts and proved 
that our expenditure is no less than our income, nay, sometimes more, I would gladly ask 
you this further question: When we depart hence and shall hear Christ saying, “Ye saw me 
hungry, and gave me no meat; naked, and ye clothed me not;” what shall we say? what 


Homily XXI 

apology shall we make? Shall we bring forward such and such a person who disobeyed these 
commands? or some of the priests who were suspected? “Nay, what is this to thee? for I accuse 
thee,” saith He, “of those things wherein thou hast thyself sinned. And the apology for these 
would be, to have washed away thine own offences, not to point to others whose errors have 
been the same as thine.” 

In fact, the Church through your meanness is compelled to have such property as it has 
now. Since, if men did all things according to the apostolical laws, its revenue should have 
been your good will, which were both a secure chest and an inexhaustible treasury. But now 
when ye lay up for yourselves treasures upon the earth and shut up all things in your own 
stores, while the Church is compelled to be at charges with bands of widows, choirs of virgins, 
sojournings of strangers, distresses of foreigners, the misfortunes of prisoners, the necessities 
of the sick and maimed, and other such like causes, what must be done? Turn away from 
all these, and block up so many ports? Who then could endure the shipwrecks that would 
ensue; the weepings, the lamentations, the wailings which would reach us from every quarter? 

Let us not then speak at random what comes into our mind. For now, as I have just said, 
we are really prepared to render up our accounts to you. But even if it were the reverse, and 
ye had corrupt teachers plundering and grasping at every thing, not even so were their 
wickedness an apology for you. For the Lover of mankind and All- wise, the Only-Begotten 
Son of God, seeing all things, and knowing the chance that in so great length of time and 
in so vast a world there would be many corrupt priests; lest the carelessness of those under 
their rule should increase through their neglect, removing every excuse for indifference; “In 
Moses’ seat,” saith He, “sit the Scribes and the Pharisees; all things, therefore, whatsoever 
they bid you, these do ye, but do not ye after their works:” implying, that even if thou hast 
a bad teacher, this will not avail thee, shouldest thou not attend to the things which are 
spoken. For not from what thy teacher hath done but from what thou hast heard and dis- 
obeyed, from that, I say, doth God pass his sentence upon thee. So that if thou doest the 
things commanded, thou shaft then stand with much boldness: but if thou disobey the things 
spoken, even though thou shouldest show ten thousand corrupt priests, this will not plead 
for thee at all. Since Judas also was an apostle, but nevertheless this shall never be any apology 
for the sacrilegious and covetous. Nor will any be able when accused to say, “Why the Apostle 
was a thief and sacrilegious, and a traitor;” yea, this very thing shall most of all be our pun- 
ishment and condemnation that not even by the evils of others were we corrected. For this 
cause also these things were written that we might shun all emulation of such things. 

Wherefore, leaving this person and that, let us take heed to ourselves. For “each of us 
shall give account of himself to God.” In order therefore that we may render up this account 
with a good defence, let us well order our own lives and stretch out a liberal hand to the 
needy, knowing that this only is our defence, the showing ourselves to have rightly done 
the things commanded; there is no other whatever. And if we be able to produce this, we 


Homily XXI 

shall escape those intolerable pains of hell, and obtain the good things to come; unto which 
may we all attain, by the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom, to the 
Father and the Holy Ghost, be glory, power, and honor, now and ever, and world without 
end. Amen. 


Homily XXII 

Homily XXII. 

1 Cor. ix. 13, 14 

Know ye not that they which minister about sacred things eat of the temple? and they which 
wait upon the altar have their portion with the altar? Even so did the Lord ordain that 
they which proclaim the Gospel should live of the Gospel. 

He takes great care to show that the receiving was not forbidden. Whereupon having 
said so much before, he was not content but proceeds also to the Law, furnishing an example 
closer to the point than the former. For it was not the same thing to bring forward the oxen 
and to adduce the law expressly given concerning priests. 

But consider, I pray, in this also the wisdom of Paul, how he mentions the matter in a 
way to give it dignity. For he did not say, “They which minister about sacred things receive 
of those who offer them.” But what? “They eat of the temple:” so that neither they who receive 
may be blamed nor they who give may be lifted up. Wherefore also what follows he hath 
set down in the same way. 

For neither did he say, “They which wait upon the altar receive of them which sacrifice,” 
but, “have their portion with the altar.” For the things offered now no longer belonged to 
those who offered them, but to the temple and the altar. And he said not, “They receive the 
holy things,” but, they “eat of the temple,” indicating again their moderation, and that it 
behoves them not to make money nor to be rich. And though he say that they have their 
portion “with the altar,” he doth not speak of equal distribution but of relief given them as 
their due. And yet the case of the Apostles was much stronger. For in the former instance 
the priesthood was an honor, but in the latter it was dangers and slaughters and violent 
deaths. Wherefore all the other examples together did not come up to the saying, “If we 
sowed unto you spiritual things:” since in saying, “we sowed,” he points out the storms, the 
danger, the snares, the unspeakable evils, which they endured in preaching. Nevertheless, 
though the superiority was so great, he was unwilling either to abase the things of the old 
law or to exalt the things which belong to himself: nay he even contracts his own, reckoning 
the superiority not from the dangers, but from the greatness of the gift. For he said not, “if 
we have jeoparded ourselves” or “exposed ourselves to snares” but “if we sowed unto you 
spiritual things.” 

And the part of the priests, as far as possible, he exalts, saying, “They which minister 
about sacred things,” and “they that wait upon the altar,” thereby intending to point out 
their continual servitude and patience. Again, as he had spoken of the priests among the 
Jews, viz. both the Levites and the Chief Priests, so he hath expressed each of the orders, 
both the inferior and the superior; the one by saying, “they which minister about sacred 
things,” and the other by saying, “they which wait upon the altar.” For not to all was one 


Homily XXII 

work commanded; but some were entrusted with the coarser, others with the more exalted 
offices. Comprehending therefore all these, lest any should say, “why talk to us of the old 
law? knowest thou not that ours is the time of more perfect commandments?” after all those 
topics he placed that which is strongest of all, saying, 

Ver. 14. “Even so did the Lord ordain that they who proclaim the Gospel should live of 
the Gospel.” 

Nor doth he even here say that they are supported by men, but as in the case of the 
priests, of “the temple” and “of the altar,” so likewise here, “of the Gospel;” and as there he 
saith, “eat,” so here, “live,” not make merchandize nor lay up treasures. “For the laborer,” 
saith He, “is worthy of his hire.” 

[2.] Ver. 15. “But I have used none of these things:” 

What then if thou hast not used them now, saith one, but intendest to use them at a 
future time, and on this account sayest these things. Far from it; for he speedily corrected 
the notion, thus saying; 

“And I write not these things that it may be so done in my case.” 

And see with what vehemence he disavows and repels the thing: 

“For it were good for me rather to die, than that any man should make my glorying 

And not once nor twice, but many times he uses this expression. For above he said, “We 
did not use this right:” and after this again, “that I abuse not my right:” and here, “but I have 
used none of these things.” “These things;” what things? The many examples. 108 That is 
to say, many things giving me license; the soldier, the husbandman, the shepherd, the 
Apostles, the law, the things done by us unto you, the things done by you unto the others, 
the priests, the ordinance of Christ; by none of these have I been induced to abolish my own 
law, and to receive. And speak not to me of the past: (although I could say, that I have endured 
much even in past times on this account,) nevertheless I do not rest on it alone, but likewise 
concerning the future I pledge myself, that I would choose rather to die of hunger than be 
deprived of these crowns. 

“For it were good for me rather to die,” saith he, “than that any man should make my 
glorying void.” 

He said not, “that any man should abolish my law,” but, “my glorying.” For lest any 
should say, “he doth it indeed but not cheerfully, but with lamentation and grief,” willing 
to show the excess of his joy and the abundance of his zeal, he even calls the matter “glorying.” 
So far was he from vexing himself that he even glories, and chooses rather to die than to fall 
from this “glorying.” So much dearer to him even than life itself was that proceeding of his. 

108 [Better, “None of these preogatives,” such as freedom from restrictions as to food, freedom to marry, and 

authority to claim maintenance from the churches. Edwards in lo. C.] 


Homily XXII 

[3.] Next, he exalts it from another consideration also, and signifies that it was a great 
thing, not that he might show himself famous, (for far was he from that disposition,) but to 
signify that he rejoices, and with a view more abundantly to take away all suspicion. For on 
this account, as I before said, he also called it a glorying: and what saith he? 

Ver. 16, 17, 18. “For if I preach the Gospel, I have nothing to glory of; for necessity is 
laid upon me; for woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel! For if I do this of mine own 
will, I have a reward: but if not of mine own will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me. What 
then is my reward? That when I preach the Gospel, I may make the Gospel of Christ without 
charge, so as not to use to the full my right in the Gospel.” 

What sayest thou? tell me. “If thou preach the Gospel, it is nothing for thee to glory of, 
but it is, if thou make the Gospel of Christ without charge?” Is this therefore greater than 
that? By no means; but in another point of view it hath some advantage, inasmuch as the 
one is a command, but the other is a good deed of my own free-will: for what things are 
done beyond the commandment, have a great reward in this respect: but such as are in 
pursuance of a commandment, not so great: and so in this respect he says, the one is more 
than the other; not in the very nature of the thing. For what is equal to preaching; since it 
maketh men vie even with the angels themselves. Nevertheless since the one is a command- 
ment and a debt, the other a forwardness of free-will, in this respect this is more than that. 
Wherefore he saith, explaining the same, what I just now mentioned: 

“For if I do this of mine own will, I have a reward, but if not of mine own will, a stew- 
ardship is entrusted to me;” taking the words of mine own “will” and “not of mine own 
will,” of its being committed or not committed to him. And thus we must understand the 
expression, “for necessity is laid upon me;” not as though he did aught of these things against 
his will, God forbid, but as though he were bound by the things commanded, and for con- 
tradistinction to the liberty in receiving before mentioned. Wherefore also Christ said to 
the disciples, (St. Luke xvii. 10.) “When ye have done all, say, We are unprofitable servants; 
for we have done that which was our duty to do.” 

“What then is my reward? That when I preach the Gospel, I may make the Gospel 
without charge.” What then, tell me, hath Peter no reward? Nay, who can ever have so great 
an one as he? And what shall we say of the other Apostles? How then said he, “If I do this 
of mine own will I have a reward, but if not of mine own will, a stewardship is entrusted to 
me?” Seest thou here also his wisdom? For he said not, “But if not of mine own will,” I have 
no reward, but, “a stewardship is committed unto me:” implying that even thus he hath a 
reward, but such as he obtains who hath performed what was commanded, not such as be- 
longs to him who hath of his own resources been generous and exceeded the commandment. 

“What then is the reward? That, when I preach the Gospel,” saith he, “I may make the 
Gospel without charge, so as not to use to the full my right in the Gospel.” See how 
throughout he uses the term “right,” intimating this, as I have often observed; that neither 


Homily XXII 

are they who receive worthy of blame. But he added, “in the Gospel,” partly to show the 
reasonableness of it, partly also to forbid our carrying the matter out into every case. For 
the teacher ought to receive, but not the mere drone also. 109 

[4.] Ver. 19. “For though I was free from all men, I brought myself under bondage to 
all, that I might gain the more.” 

Here again he introduces another high step in advance. For a great thing it is even not 
to receive, but this which he is about to mention is much more than that. What then is it 
that he says? “Not only have I not received,” saith he,” not only have I not used this right, 
but I have even made myself a slave, and in a slavery manifold and universal. For not in 
money alone, but, which was much more than money, in employments many and various 
have I made good this same rule: and I have made myself a slave when I was subject to none, 
having no necessity in any respect, (for this is the meaning of, “though I was free from all 
men;”) and not to any single person have I been a slave, but to the whole world.” 

Wherefore also he subjoined, “I brought myself under bondage to all.” That is, “To 
preach the Gospel I was commanded, and to proclaim the things committed to my trust; 
but the contriving and devising numberless things beside, all that was of my own zeal. For 
I was only under obligation to invest the money, whereas I did every thing in order to get 
a return for it, attempting more than was commanded.” Thus doing as he did all things of 
free choice and zeal and love to Christ, he had an insatiable desire for the salvation of 
mankind. Wherefore also he used to overpass by a very great deal the lines marked out, in 
every way springing higher than the very heaven. 

[5.] Next, having mentioned his servitude, he describes in what follows the various 
modes of it. And what are these? 

Ver. 20. “And I became,” says he, “to the Jews as a Jew, that I might gain Jews.” And 
how did this take place? When he circumcised that he might abolish circumcision. Wherefore 
he said not, “a Jew,” but, “as a Jew,” which was a wise arrangement. What sayest thou? The 
herald of the world and he who touched the very heavens and shone so bright in grace, doth 
he all at once descend so low? Yea. For this is to ascend. For you are not to look to the fact 
only of his descending, but also to his raising up him that was bowed down and bringing 
him up to himself. 

“To them that are under the law, as under the law, not being myself under the law, that 
I might gain them that are under the law.” Either it is the explanation of what went before, 

109 [Chrysostom’s view of this difficult passage appears to be: “If my preaching the Gospel is an optional 
thing, I have a reward; if on the other hand it is not optional but obligatory, then reward is out of the question 
(Lukexvii. 10). But it is obligatory in my case, and yet I have a reward, viz. the privilege of preaching gratuitously.” 
This is one of Paul’s felicitous paradoxes. “The consciousness of preaching freely a free Gospel was his pay for 
declining to be paid.” C.] 


Homily XXII 

or he hints at some other thing besides the former: calling those Jews, who were such ori- 
ginally and from the first: but “under the law,” the proselytes, or those who became believers 
and yet adhered to the law. For they were no longer as Jews, yet ‘under the law.’ And when 
was he under the law? When he shaved his head; when he offered sacrifice. Now these 
things were done, not because his mind changed, (since such conduct would have been 
wickedness,) but because his love condescended. For that he might bring over to this faith 
those who were really Jews, he became such himself not really, showing himself such only, 
but not such in fact nor doing these things from a mind so disposed. Indeed, how could he, 
zealous as he was to convert others also, and doing these things only in order that he might 
free others who did them from that degradation? 

Ver. 21. “To them that are without law, as without law.” These were neither Jews, nor 
Christians, nor Greeks; but ‘outside of the Law,’ as was Cornelius, and if there were any 
others like him. For among these also making his appearance, he used to assume many of 
their ways. But some say that he hints at his discourse with the Athenians from the inscription 
on the altar, and that so he saith, “to them that are without law, as without law.” 

Then, lest any should think that the matter was a change of mind, he added, “not being 
without law to God, but under law to Christ;” i.e., “so far from being without law, I am not 
simply under the Law, but I have that law which is much more exalted than the older one, 
viz. that of the Spirit and of grace.” Wherefore also he adds, “to Christ.” Then again, having 
made them confident of his judgment, he states also the gain of such condescension, saying, 
“that I might gain them that are without law.” And every where he brings forward the cause 
of his condescension, and stops not even here, but says, 

Ver. 22. “To the weak became I weak, that I might gain the weak:” in this part coming 
to their case, with a view to which also all these things have been spoken. However, those 
were much greater things, but this more to the purpose; whence also he hath placed it after 
them. Indeed he did the same thing likewise in his Epistle to the Romans, when he was 
finding fault about meats; and so in many other places. 

Next, not to waste time by naming all severally, he saith, “I am become all things to all 
men, that I may by all means save some.” 

Seest thou how far it is carried? “I am become all things to all men,” not expecting, 
however, to save all, but that I may save though it be but a few. And so great care and service 
have I undergone, as one naturally would who was about saving all, far however from hoping 
to gain all: which was truly magnanimous 110 and a proof of burning zeal. Since likewise the 
sower sowed every where, and saved not all the seed, notwithstanding he did his part. And 
having mentioned the fewness of those who are saved, again, adding, “by all means,” he 
consoled those to whom this was a grief. For though it be not possible that all the seed should 

110 7toA.u [ieyoc. 


Homily XXII 

be saved, nevertheless it cannot be that all should perish. Wherefore he said, “by all means,” 
because one so ardently zealous must certainly have some success. 

Ver. 23. “And I do all things for the Gospel’s sake, that I maybe a joint partaker thereof.” 

“That is, that I may seem also myself to have added some contribution of mine own, 
and may partake of the crowns laid up for the faithful. For as he spake of “living of the 
Gospel,” i.e., of the believers; so also here, “that I may be a joint partaker in the Gospel, that 
I may be able to partake with them that have believed in the Gospel.” Do you perceive his 
humility, how in the recompense of rewards he places himself as one of the many, though 
he had exceeded all in his labors? whence it is evident that he would in his reward also. 
Nevertheless, he claims not to enjoy the first prize, but is content if so be he may partake 
with the others in the crowns laid up for them. But these things he said, not because he did 
this for any reward, but that hereby at least he might draw them on, and by these hopes 
might induce them to do all things for their brethren’s sake. Seest thou his wisdom! Seest 
thou the excellency of his perfection? how he wrought beyond the things commanded, not 
receiving when it was lawful to receive. Seest thou the exceeding greatness of his condescen- 
sion? how he that was “under law to Christ,” and kept that highest law, “to them that were 
without law,” was “as one without law,” to the Jews, as a Jew, in either kind showing himself 
preeminent, and surpassing all. 

[6.] This also do thou, and think not being eminent, that thou lowerest thyself, when 
for thy brother’s sake thou submittest to some abasement. For this is not to fall, but to des- 
cend. For he who falls, lies prostrate, hardly to be raised up again; but he who descends shall 
also rise again with much advantage. As also Paul descended indeed alone, but ascended 
with the whole world: not acting a part, for he would not have sought the gain of them that 
are saved had he been acting. Since the hypocrite seeks men’s perdition, and feigns, that he 
may receive, not that he may give. But the apostle not so: as a physician rather, as a teacher, 
as a father, the one to the sick, the other to the disciple, the third to the son, condescends 
for his correction, not for his hurt; so likewise did he. 

To show that the things which have been stated were not pretence; in a case where he 
is not compelled to do or say any such thing but means to express his affection and his 
confidence; hear him saying, (Rom. viii. 39.) “neither life, nor death, nor angels, nor prin- 
cipalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor 
any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus 
our Lord.” Seest thou a love more ardent than fire? So let us also love Christ. For indeed it 
is easy, if we will. For neither was the Apostle such by nature. On this account, you see, his 
former life was recorded, so contrary to this, that we may learn that the work is one of choice, 
and that to the willing all things are easy. 

Let us not then despair, but even though thou be a reviler, or covetous, or whatsoever 
thou art, consider that Paul was (1 Tim. 13, 16.) “a blasphemer, and persecutor, and injurious, 


Homily XXII 

and the chief of sinners,” and suddenly rose to the very summit of virtue, and his former 
life proved no hindrance to him. And yet none with so great frenzy clings to vice as he did 
to the war against the Church. For at that time he put his very life into it; and because he 
had not ten thousand hands that he might stone Stephen with all of them, he was vexed. 
Notwithstanding, even thus he found how he might stone him with more hands, to wit, 
those of the false witnesses whose clothes he kept. And again, when he entered into houses 
like a wild beast and no otherwise did he rush in, haling, tearing men and women, filling 
all things with tumult and confusion and innumerable conflicts. For instance, so terrible 
was he that the Apostles, (Acts ix. 26.) even after his most glorious change, did not yet venture 
to join themselves to him. Nevertheless, after all those things he became such as he was: for 
I need not say more. 

[7.] Where now are they who build up the necessity of fate against the freedom of the 
will? Let them hear these things, and let their mouths be stopped. For there is nothing to 
hinder him that willeth to become good, even though before he should be one of the vilest. 
And in fact we are more aptly disposed that way, inasmuch as virtue is agreeable to our 
nature, and vice contrary to it, even as sickness and health. For God hath given us eyes, not 
that we may look wantonly, but that, admiring his handi-work, we may worship the Creator. 
And that this is the use of our eyes is evident from the things which are seen. For the lustre 
of the sun and of the sky we see from an immeasurable distance, but a woman’s beauty one 
cannot discern so far off. Seest thou that for this end our eye was chiefly given? Again, he 
made the ear that we should entertain not blasphemous words, but saving doctrines. 
Wherefore you see, when it receives any thing dissonant, both our soul shudders and our 
very body also. “For,” saith one, (Ecclus. xxvii. 5.) “the talk of him that sweareth much 
maketh the hair stand upright.” And if we hear any thing cruel or merciless, again our flesh 
creeps; but if any thing decorous and kind, we even exult and rejoice. Again, if our mouth 
utter base words, it causes us to be ashamed and hide ourselves, but if grave words, it utters 
them with ease and all freedom. Now for those things which are according to nature no one 
would blush, but for those which are against nature. And the hands when they steal hide 
themselves, and seek excuses; but if they give alms, they even glory. So that if we will, we 
have from every side a great inclination towards virtue. But if thou talk to me of the pleasure 
which arises from vice, consider that this also is a thing which we reap more of from virtue. 
For to have a good conscience and to be looked up to by all and to entertain good hopes, is 
of all things most pleasant to him that hath seen into the nature of pleasure, even as the re- 
verse is of all things the most grievous to him that knows the nature of pain; such as to be 
reproached by all, to be accused by our own conscience, to tremble and fear both at the future 
and the present. 

And that what I say may become more evident, let us suppose for argument’s sake one 
man having a wife, yet defiling the marriage-bed of his neighbor and taking pleasure in this 


Homily XXII 

wicked robbery, enjoying his paramour. Then let us again oppose to him another who loves 
his own spouse. And that the victory may be greater and more evident, let the man who 
enjoys his own wife only, have a fancy also for the other, the adulteress, but restrain his 
passion and do nothing evil: (although neither is this pure chastity.) However, granting 
more than is necessary, that you may convince yourself how great is the pleasure of virtue, 
for this cause have we so framed our story. 

Now then, having brought them together, let us ask them accordingly, whose is the 
pleasanter life: and you will hear the one glorying and exulting in the conquest over his lust: 
but the other — or rather, there is no need to wait to be informed of any thing by him. For 
thou shalt see him, though he deny it times without number, more wretched than men in 
a prison. For he fears and suspects all, both his own wife and the husband of the adulteress 
and the adulteress herself, and domestics, and friends, and kinsmen, and walls, and shadows, 
and himself, and what is worst of all, he hath his conscience crying out against him, barking 
aloud every day. But if he should also bring to mind the judgment-seat of God, he will not 
be able even to stand. And the pleasure is short: but the pain from it unceasing. For both at 
even, and in the night, in the desert and the city and every where, the accuser haunts him, 
pointing to a sharpened sword and the intolerable punishment, and with that terror con- 
suming and wasting him. But the other, the chaste person, is free from all these things, and 
is at liberty, and with comfort looks upon his wife, his children, his friends, and meets all 
with unembarrassed eyes. Now if he that is enamored but is master of himself enjoy so great 
pleasure, he that indulges no such passion but is truly chaste, what harbor, what calm will 
be so sweet and serene as the mind which he will attain? And on this account you may see 
few adulterers but many chaste persons. But if the former were the pleasanter, it would be 
preferred by the greater number. And tell me not of the terror of the laws. For this is not 
that which restrains them, but the excessive unreasonableness, and the fact that the pains 
of it are more than the pleasures, and the sentence of conscience. 

[8.] Such then is the adulterer. Now, if you please, let us bring before you the covetous, 
laying bare again another lawless passion. For him too we shall see afraid of the same things 
and unable to enjoy real pleasure: in that calling to mind both those whom he hath wronged, 
and those who sympathize with them, and the public sentence of all concerning himself, he 
hath ten thousand agitations. 

And this is not his only vexation, but not even his beloved object can he enjoy. For such 
is the way of the covetous; not that they may enjoy do they possess, but that they may not 
enjoy. But if this seem to thee a riddle, hear next what is yet worse than this and more per- 
plexing; that not in this way only are they deprived of the pleasure of their goods, by their 
not venturing to use them as they would, but also by their never being filled with them but 
living in a continual thirst: than which what can be more grievous? But the just man is not 
so, but is delivered both from trembling and hatred and fear and this incurable thirst: and 


Homily XXII 

as all men curse the one, even so do all men conspire to bless the other: and as the one hath 
no friend, so hath the other no enemy. 

What now, these things being so acknowledged, can be more unpleasing than vice or 
more pleasant than virtue? Nay, rather, though we should speak for ever, no one shall be 
able to represent in discourse either the pain of this, or the pleasure of the other, until we 
shall experience it. For then shall we find vice more bitter than gall, when we shall have fully 
tasted the honey of virtue. Not but vice is even now unpleasant, and disgusting, and burden- 
some, and this not even her very votaries gainsay; but when we withdraw from her, then do 
we more clearly discern the bitterness of her commands. But if the multitude run to her, it 
is no marvel; since children also oftentimes, choosing things less pleasant, despise those 
which are more delightful and the sick for a momentary gratification lose the perpetual and 
more certain joy. But this comes of the weakness and folly of those who are possessed with 
any fondness, not of the nature of the things. For it is the virtuous man who lives in pleasure; 
he who is rich indeed and free indeed. 

But if any one would grant the rest to virtue, — liberty, security, freedom from cares, the 
fearing no man, the suspecting no man, — but would not grant it pleasure; to laugh, and that 
heartily, occurs to me, I confess, as the only course to be taken. For what else is pleasure, 
but freedom from care and fear and despondency, and the not being under the power of 
any? And who is in pleasure, tell me, the man in frenzy and convulsion, who is goaded by 
divers lusts, and is not even himself; or he who is freed from all these waves, and is settled 
in the love of wisdom, as it were in a harbor? Is it not evident, the latter? But this would 
seem to be a thing peculiar to virtue. So that vice hath merely the name of pleasure, but of 
the substance it is destitute. And before the enjoyment, it is madness, not pleasure: but after 
the enjoyment, straightway this also is extinguished. Now then if neither at the beginning 
nor afterwards can one discern the pleasure of it, when will it appear, and where? 

And that thou mayest more clearly understand what I say, let us try the force of the ar- 
gument in an example. Now consider. One is enamored of a fair and lovely woman: this 
man as long as he cannot obtain his desire is like unto men beside themselves and frantic; 
but after that he hath obtained it, he hath quenched his appetite. If therefore neither at the 
beginning doth he feel pleasure, (for the affair is madness,) nor in the end, (for by the indul- 
gence of his lust he cools down his wild fancy,) where after all are we to find it? But our 
doings are not such, but both at the beginning they are freed from all disturbance, and to 
the end the pleasure remains in its bloom: nay rather there is no end of our pleasure, nor 
have our good things a limit, nor is this pleasure ever done away. 

Upon all these considerations, then, if we love pleasure, let us lay hold on virtue that 
we may win good things both now and hereafter: unto which may we all attain, through the 
grace and mercy, &c. 


Homily XXIII 

Homily XXIII. 

1 Cor. ix. 24 

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? 

Having pointed out the manifold usefulness of condescension and that this is the highest 
perfectness, and that he himself having risen higher than all towards perfection, or rather 
having gone beyond it by declining to receive, descended lower than all again; and having 
made known to us the times for each of these, both for the perfectness and for the condes- 
cension; he touches them more sharply in what follows, covertly intimating that this which 
was done by them and which was counted a mark of perfectness, is a kind of superfluous 
and useless labor. And he saith it not thus out clearly, lest they should become insolent; but 
the methods of proof employed by him makes this evident. 

And having said that they sin against Christ and destroy the brethren, and are nothing 
profited by this perfect knowledge, except charity be added; he again proceeds to a common 
example, and saith, 

“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize?” Now 
this he saith, not as though here also one only out of many would be saved; far from it; but 
to set forth the exceeding diligence which it is our duty to use. For as there, though many 
descend into the course not many are crowned, but this befalls one only; and it is not enough 
to descend into the contest, nor to anoint one’s self and wrestle: so likewise here it is not 
sufficient to believe, and to contend in any way; but unless we have so run as unto the end 
to show ourselves unblameable, and to come near the prize, it will profit us nothing. For 
even though thou consider thyself to be perfect according to knowledge, thou hast not yet 
attained the whole; which hinting at, he said, “so run, that ye may obtain.” They had not 
then yet, as it seems, attained. And having said thus, he teaches them also the manner. 

Ver. 25. “And every man that striveth in the games is temperate in all things.” 

What is, “all things?” He doth not abstain from one and err in another, but he masters 
entirely gluttony and lasciviousness and drunkenness and all his passions. “For this,” saith 
he, “takes place even in the heathen games. For neither is excess of wine permitted to those 
who contend at the time of the contest, nor wantonness, lest they should weaken their vigor, 
nor yet so much as to be busied about any thing else, but separating themselves altogether 
from all things they apply themselves to their exercise only.” Now if there these things be 
so where the crown falls to one, much more here, where the incitement in emulation is more 
abundant. For here neither is one to be crowned alone, and the rewards also far surpass the 
labors. Wherefore also he puts it so as to shame them, saying, “Now they do it receive to a 
corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible.” 

[2.] Ver. 26. “I therefore so run, as not uncertainly.” 


Homily XXIII 

Thus having shamed them from those that are without, he next brings forward himself 
also, which kind of thing is a most excellent method of teaching: and accordingly we find 
him every where doing so. 

But what is, “not uncertainly?” “Looking to some mark,” saith he, “not at random and 
in vain, as ye do. For what profit have ye of entering into idol-temples, and exhibiting for- 
sooth that perfectness? None. But not such am I, but all things whatsoever I do, I do for the 
salvation of my neighbor. Whether I show forth perfectness, it is for their sake; or condes- 
cension, for their sake again: whether I surpass Peter in declining to receive [compensation], 
it is that they may not be offended; or descend lower than all, being circumcised and shaving 
my head, it is that they may not be subverted. This is, “not uncertainly.” But thou, why dost 
thou eat in idol- temples, tell me? Nay, thou canst not assign any reasonable cause. For “meat 
commendeth thee not to God; neither if thou eat art thou the better, nor if thou eat not art 
thou the worse.” ( 1 Cor. viii. 8.) Plainly then thou runnest at random: for this is, “uncertainly.” 
“So fight I, as not beating the air.” This he saith, again intimating that he acted not at 
random nor in vain. “For I have one at whom I may strike, i.e., the devil. But thou dost not 
strike him, but simply throwest away thy strength.” 

Now so far then, altogether bearing with them, he thus speaks. For since he had dealt 
somewhat vehemently with them in the preceding part, he now on the contrary keeps back 
his rebuke, reserving for the end of the discourse the deep wound of all. Since here he says 
that they act at random and in vain; but afterwards signifies that it is at the risk of no less 
than utter ruin to their own soul, and that even apart from all injury to their brethren, neither 
are they themselves guiltless in daring so to act. 

Ver. 27. “But I buffet my body, and bring it into bondage lest by any means, after that 
I have preached to others, I myself should be rejected.” 

Here he implies that they are subject to the lust of the belly and give up the reins to it, 
and under a pretence of perfection fulfil their own greediness; a thought which before also 
he was travailing to express, when he said, “meats for the belly, and the belly for meats.” (1 
Cor. vi. 1 3.) For since both fornication is caused by luxury, and it also brought forth idolatry, 
he naturally oftentimes inveighs against this disease; and pointing out how great things he 
suffered for the Gospel, he sets this also down among them. “As I went,” saith he, “beyond 
the commands, and this when it was no light matter for me:” (“for we endure all things,” it 
is said,) “so also here I submit to much labor in order to live soberly. Stubborn as appetite 
is and the tyranny of the belly, nevertheless I bridle it and give not myself up to the passion, 
but endure all labor not to be drawn aside by it.” 

“For do not, I pray you, suppose that by taking things easily I arrive at this desirable 
result. For it is a race and a manifold struggle, 111 and a tyrannical nature continually rising 

111 raxYKpdnov. 


Homily XXIII 

up against me and seeking to free itself. But I bear not with it but keep it down, and bring 
it into subjection with many struggles.” Now this he saith that none may despairingly 
withdraw from the conflicts in behalf of virtue because the undertaking is laborious. 
Wherefore he saith, “I buffet and bring into bondage.” He said not, “I kill:” nor, “I punish” 
for the flesh is not to be hated, but, “I buffet and bring into bondage;” which is the part of 
a master not of an enemy, of a teacher not of a foe, of a gymnastic master not of an adversary. 

“Lest by any means, having preached to others, I myself should be a rejected.” 

Now if Paul feared this who had taught so many, and feared it after his preaching and 
becoming an angel and undertaking the leadership of the whole world; what can we say? 

For, “think not,” saith he, “because ye have believed, that this is sufficient for your sal- 
vation: since if to me neither preaching nor teaching nor bringing over innumerable persons, 
is enough for salvation unless I exhibit my own conduct also unblameable, much less to 

[3.] Then he comes to other illustrations again. And as above he alleged the examples 
of the Apostles and those of common custom and those of the priests, and his own, so also 
here having set forth those of the Olympic games and those of his own course, he again 
proceeds to the histories of the Old Testament. And because what he has to say will be 
somewhat unpleasing he makes his exhortation general, and discourses not only concerning 
the subject before him, but also generally concerning all the evils among the Corinthians. 
And in the case of the heathen games, “Know ye not?” saith he: but here, 

Chap. x. ver. 1. “For I would not, brethren, have you ignorant.” 

Now this he said, implying that they were not very well instructed in these things. And 
what is this which thou wouldest not have us ignorant of? 

Ver. 1-5. “That our fathers,” saith he, “were all under the cloud, and all passed through 
the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the 
same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of a spiritual 
Rock that followed them: and the Rock was Christ. Howbeit with most of them God was 
not well pleased.” 

And wherefore saith he these things? To point out that as they were nothing profited 
by the enjoyment of so great a gift, so neither these by obtaining Baptism and partaking of 
spiritual Mysteries, except they go on and show forth a life worthy of this grace. Wherefore 
also he introduces the types both of Baptism and of the Mysteries. 

But what is, “They were baptized into Moses?” Like as we, on our belief in Christ and 
His resurrection, are baptized, as being destined in our own persons to partake in the same 
mysteries; for, “we are baptized,” saith he, “for the dead,” i.e., for our own bodies; even so 
they putting confidence in Moses, i.e., having seen him cross first, ventured also themselves 
into the waters. But because he wishes to bring the Type near the Truth; he speaks it not 
thus, but uses the terms of the Truth even concerning the Type. 


Homily XXIII 

Further: this was a symbol of the Font, and that which follows, of the Holy Table. For 
as thou eatest the Lord’s Body, so they the manna: and as thou drinkest the Blood, so they 
water from a rock. For though they were things of sense which were produced, yet were 
they spiritually exhibited, not according to the order of nature, but according to the gracious 
intention of the gift, and together with the body nourished also the soul, leading it unto 
faith. On this account, you see, touching the food he made no remark, for it was entirely 
different, not in mode only but in nature also; (for it was manna;) but respecting the drink, 
since the manner only of the supply was extraordinary and required proof, therefore having 
said that “they drank the same spiritual drink,” he added, “for they drank of a spiritual Rock 
that followed them,” and he subjoined, “and the Rock was Christ.” For it was not the nature 
of the rock which sent forth the water, (such is his meaning,) else would it as well have 
gushed out before this time: but another sort of Rock, a spiritual One, performed the whole, 
even Christ who was every where with them and wrought all the wonders. For on this account 
he said, “that followed them.” 

Perceivest thou the wisdom of Paul, how in both cases he points cut Him as the Giver, 
and thereby brings the Type nigh to the Truth? “For He who set those things before them,” 
saith he, “the same also hath prepared this our Table: and the same Person both brought 
them through the sea and thee through Baptism; and before them set manna, but before 
thee His Body and Blood.” 

[4.] As touching His gift then, such is the case: now let us observe also what follows, 
and consider, whether when they showed themselves unworthy of the gift, He spared them. 
Nay, this thou canst not say. Wherefore also he added, “Howbeit with most of them God 
was not well-pleased;” although He had honored them with so great honor. Yea, it profited 
them nothing, but most of them perished. The truth is, they all perished, but that he might 
not seem to prophesy total destruction to these also, therefore he said, “most of them.” And 
yet they were innumerable, but their number profited them nothing: and these were all so 
many tokens of love; but not even did this profit them, inasmuch as they did not themselves 
show forth the fruits of love. 

Thus, since most men disbelieve the things said of hell, as not being present nor in sight; 
he alleges the things heretofore done as a proof that God doth punish all who sin, even 
though He have bestowed innumerable benefits upon them: “for if ye disbelieve the things 
to come,” so he speaks, “yet surely the things that are past ye will not disbelieve.” Consider, 
for example, how great benefits He bestowed on them: from Egypt and the slavery there He 
set them free, the sea He made their path, from heaven he brought down manna, from be- 
neath He sent forth strange and marvellous fountains of waters; He was with them every 


Homily XXIII 

where, doing wonders and fencing them in on every side: nevertheless since they showed 
forth nothing worthy of this gift, He spared them not, but destroyed them all. 

Ver. 5. “For they were overthrown,” saith he, “in the wilderness.” Declaring by this word 
both the sweeping destruction, and the punishments and the vengeance inflicted by God, 
and that they did not so much as attain to the rewards proposed to them. Neither were they 
in the land of promise when He did these things unto them, but without and afar somewhere, 
and wide of that country; He thus visiting them with a double vengeance, both by not per- 
mitting them to see the land, and this too though promised unto them, and also by actual 
severe punishment. 

And what are these things to us? say you. To thee surely they belong. Wherefore also 
he adds, 

Ver. 6. “Now these things were figures of us .” 

For as the gifts are figures, even so are the punishments figures: and as Baptism and the 
Table were sketched out prophetically, so also by what ensued, the certainty of punishment 
coming on those who are unworthy of this gift was proclaimed beforehand for our sake that 
we by these examples might learn soberness. Wherefore also he adds, 

“To the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.” For as in the be- 
nefits the types went before and the substance followed, such shall be the order also in the 
punishments. Seest thou how he signifies not only the fact that these shall be punished, but 
also the degree, more severely than those ancients? For if the one be type, and the other 
substance, it must needs be that the punishments should as far exceed as the gifts. 

And see whom he handles first: those who eat in the idol-temples. For having said, “that 
we should not lust after evil things,” which was general, he subjoins that which is particular, 
implying that each of their sins arose from evil lusting. And first he said this, 

Ver. 7. “Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, ‘the people sat 
down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.’” 

Do you hear how he even calls them “idolaters?” here indeed making the declaration, 
but afterwards bringing the proof. And he assigned the cause too wherefore they ran to 
those tables; and this was gluttony. Wherefore having said, “to the intent that we should 
not lust after evil things,” and having added, nor “be idolaters,” he names the cause of such 
transgression; and this was gluttony. “For the people sat down,” saith he, “to eat and to 
drink,” and he adds the end thereof, “they rose up to play.” “For even as they,” saith he, 
“from sensuality passed into idolatry; so there is a fear lest ye also may fall from the one into 
the other.” Do you see how he signifies that these, perfect men forsooth, were more imperfect 
than the others whom they censured? Not in this respect only, their not bearing with their 
brethren throughout, but also in that the one sin from ignorance, but the others from glut- 

112 ruTioi fijiwv, rec. vers. our examples. 


Homily XXIII 

tony. And from the ruin of the former he reckons the punishment to these, but allows not 
these to lay upon another the cause of their own sin but pronounces them responsible both 
for their injury, and for their own. 

“Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed.” Wherefore doth he 
here make mention of fornication again, having so largely discoursed concerning it before? 
It is ever Paul’s custom when he brings a charge of many sins, both to set them forth in order 
and separately to proceed with his proposed topics, and again in his discourses concerning 
other things to make mention also of the former: which thing God also used to do in the 
Old Testament, in reference to each several transgression, reminding the Jews of the calf 
and bringing that sin before them. This then Paul also does here, at the same time both re- 
minding them of that sin, and teaching that the parent of this evil also was luxury and glut- 
tony. Wherefore also he adds, “Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them commit- 
ted, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.” 

And wherefore names he not likewise the punishment for their idolatry? Either because 
it was clear and more notorious, or because the plague was not so great at that time, as in 
the matter of Balaam, when they joined themselves to Baalpeor, the Midianitish women 
appearing in the camp and alluring them to wantonness according to the counsel of Balaam. 
For that this evil counsel was Balaam’s Moses sheweth after this, in the following statement 
at the end of the Book of Numbers. (Numb. xxxi. 8, 11, 15, 16. in our translation.) “Balaam 
also the son of Beor they slew in the war of Midian with the sword and they brought the 
spoils.... And Moses was wroth, and said, Wherefore have ye saved all the women alive? For 
these were to the children of Israel for a stumbling-block, according to the word of Balaam, 
to cause them to depart from and despise the word of the Ford for Peor’s sake.” 

Ver. 9. “Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and perished by 

By this he again hints at another charge which he likewise states at the end, blaming 
them because they contended about signs. And indeed they were destroyed on account of 
trials, saying, “when will the good things come? when the rewards?” Wherefore also he adds, 
on this account correcting and alarming them, 

Ver. 1 0. “Neither murmur ye, as some of them murmured, and perished by the destroy- 

For what is required is not only to suffer for Christ, but also nobly to bear the things 
that come on us, and with all gladness: since this is the nature of every crown. Yea, and unless 
this be so, punishment rather will attend men who take calamity with a bad grace. Wherefore, 
both the Apostles when they were beaten rejoiced, and Paul gloried in his sufferings. 

[5.] Ver. 11. “Now all these things happened unto them by way of example; and they 
were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are come.” 


Homily XXIII 

Again he terrifies them speaking of the “ends,” and prepares them to expect things 
greater than had already taken place. “For that we shall suffer punishment is manifest,” saith 
he, “from what hath been said, even to those who disbelieve the statements concerning hell- 
fire; but that the punishment also will be most severe, is evident, from the more numerous 
blessings which we have enjoyed, and from the things of which those were but figures. Since, 
if in the gifts one go beyond the other, it is most evident that so it will be in the punishment 
likewise.” For this cause he both called them types, and said that they were “written for us” 
and made mention of an “end” that he might remind them of the consummation of all 
things. For not such will be the penalties then as to admit of a termination and be done 
away, but the punishment will be eternal; for even as the punishments in this world are 
ended with the present life, so those in the next continually remain. But when he said, “the 
ends of the ages,” he means nothing else than that the fearful judgment is henceforth nigh 
at hand. 

Ver. 12. “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” 

Again, he casts down their pride who thought highly of their knowledge. For if they 
who had so great privileges suffered such things; and some for murmuring alone were visited 
with such punishment, and others for tempting, and neither their multitude moved God to 
repent , nor their having attained to such things; much more shall it be so in our case, 
except we be sober. And well said he, “he that thinketh he standeth:” for this is not even 
standing as one ought to stand, to rely on yourself: for quickly will such an one fall: since 
they too, had they not been high-minded and self-confident, but of a subdued frame of 
mind, would not have suffered these things. Whence it is evident, that chiefly pride, and 
carelessness from which comes gluttony also, are the sources of these evils. Wherefore even 
though thou stand, yet take heed lest thou fall. For our standing here is not secure standing, 
no not until we be delivered out of the waves of this present life and have sailed into the 
tranquil haven. Be not therefore high-minded at thy standing, but guard against thy falling; 
for if Paul feared who was firmer than all, much more ought we to fear. 

[6.] Now the Apostle’s word, as we have seen, was, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he 
standeth take heed lest he fall;” but we cannot say even this; all of us, so to speak, having 
fallen, and lying prostrate on the ground. For to whom am I to say this? To him that com- 
mitteth extortion every day? Nay, he lies prostrate with a mighty fall. To the fornicator? He 
too is cast down to the ground. To the drunkard? He also is fallen, and knoweth not even 
that he is fallen. So that it is not the season for this word, but for that saying of the prophet 
which he spake even to the Jews, (Jer. viii. 4.) — “He that falleth, doth he not rise again?” For 
all are fallen, and to rise again they have no mind. So that our exhortation is not concerning 
the not falling, but concerning the ability of them that are fallen to arise. Let us rise again 

113 e5uad)7tr|ae. 


Homily XXIII 

then, late though it be, beloved, let us rise again, and let us stand nobly. How long do we lie 
prostrate? How long are we drunken, besotted with the excessive desire of the things of this 
life? It is a meet opportunity now to say, (Jer. vi. 10.) “To whom shall I speak and testify?” 
So deaf are all men become even to the very instruction of virtue, and thence filled with 
abundance of evils. And were it possible to discern their souls naked; as in armies when the 
battle is ended one may behold some dead, and some wounded, so also in the Church we 
might see. Wherefore I beseech and implore you, let us stretch out a hand to each other and 
thoroughly raise ourselves up. For I myself am of them that are smitten, and require one to 
apply some remedies. 

Do not however despair on this account. For what if the wounds be severe? yet are they 
not incurable; such is our physician: only let us feel our wounds. Although we be arrived at 
the very extreme of wickedness, many are the ways of safety which He strikes out for us. 
Thus, if thou forbear to be angry with thy neighbor, thine own sins shall be forgiven. “For 
if ye forgive men,” saith He, “your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” (Matt. vi. 14.) And 
if thou give alms, He will remit thee thy sins; for, “break off thy sins,” saith He, “by alms.” 
(Dan. iv. 24.) And if thou pray earnestly, thou shalt enjoy forgiveness: and this the widow 
signifieth who prevailed upon that cruel judge by the importunity of her prayer. And if thou 
accuse thine own sins, thou hast relief: for “declare thou thine iniquities first, that thou 
mayest be justified:” (Is. xlvii. 26.) and if thou art sorrowful on account of these things, this 
too will be to thee a powerful remedy: “for I saw,” saith He, “that he was grieved and went 
sorrowful, and I healed his ways.” (Is. lvii. 17.) And if, when thou sufferest any evil, thou 
bear it nobly, thou hast put away the whole. For this also did Abraham say to the rich man, 
that “Lazarus received his evil things, and here he is comforted.” And if thou hast pity on 
the widow, thy sins are washed away. For, “Judge,” saith He, “the orphan, and plead for the 
widow, and come and let us reason together, saith the Lord. And if your sins be as scarlet, 
I will make them white as snow; and if they be as crimson, I will make them white as wool.” 
(Is. i. 17.) For not even a single scar of the wounds doth He suffer to appear. Y ea, and though 
we be come to that depth of misery into which he fell, who devoured his father’s substance 
and fed upon husks, and should repent, we are undoubtedly saved. And though we owe ten 
thousand talents, if we fall down before God and bear no malice, all things are forgiven us. 
Although we have wandered away to that place whither the sheep strayed from his keeper, 
even thence He recovers us again: only let us be willing, beloved. For God is merciful. 
Wherefore both in the case of him that owed ten thousand talents, He was content with His 
falling down before Him; and in the case of him who had devoured his father’s goods, with 
his return only; and in the case of the sheep, with its willingness to be borne. 

[7.] Considering therefore the greatness of His mercy, let us here make Him propitious 
unto us, and “let us come before His face by a full confession,” (Ps. xcv. 2. LXX.) that we 
may not depart hence without excuse, and have to endure the extreme punishment. For if 


Homily XXIII 

in the present life we exhibit even an ordinary diligence, we shall gain the greatest rewards: 
but if we depart having become nothing better here, even though we repent ever so earnestly 
there it will do us no good. For it was our duty to strive while yet remaining within the lists, 
not after the assembly was broken up idly to lament and weep: as that rich man did, bewailing 
and deploring himself, but to no purpose and in vain, since he overlooked the time in which 
he ought to have done these things. And not he alone, but many others there are like him 
now among the rich; not willing to despise wealth, but despising their own souls for wealth’s 
sake: at whom I cannot but wonder, when I see men continually interceding with God for 
mercy, whilst they are doing themselves incurable harm, and unsparing of their very soul 
as if it were an enemy. Let us not then trifle, beloved, let us not trifle nor delude ourselves, 
beseeching God to have mercy upon us, whilst we ourselves prefer both money and luxury, 
and, in fact, all things to this mercy. For neither, if any one brought before thee a case and 
said in accusation of such an one, that being to suffer ten thousand deaths and having it in 
his power to rid himself of the sentence by a little money, he chose rather to die than to give 
up any of his property, would you say that he was worthy of any mercy or compassion. Now 
in this same way do thou also reason touching thyself. For we too act in this way, and making 
light of our own salvation, we are sparing of our money. How then dost thou beseech God 
to spare thee, when thou thyself art so unsparing of thyself, and honorest money above thy 

Wherefore also I am greatly astonished to see, how great witchery lies hid in wealth, or 
rather not in wealth, but in the souls of those that are beguiled. For there are, there are those 
that utterly derided this sorcery 114 . For which among the things therein is really capable of 
bewitching us? Is it not inanimate matter? is it not transitory? is not the possession thereof 
unworthy of trust? is it not full of fears and? dangers? nay, of murders and conspiracy? of 
enmity and hatred? of carelessness and much vice? is it not dust and ashes? what madness 
have we here? what disease? 

“But,” say you, “we ought not merely to bring such accusations against those that are 
so diseased, but also to destroy the passion.” And in what other way shall we destroy it, except 
by pointing out its baseness and how full it is of innumerable evils? 

But of this it is not easy to persuade a lover concerning the objects of his love. Well then, 
we must set before him another sort of beauty. But incorporeal beauty he sees not, being 
yet in his disease. Well then, let us show him some beauty of a corporeal kind, and say to 
him, Consider the meadows and the flowers therein, which are more sparkling than any 
gold, and more elegant and transparent than all kinds of precious stones. Consider the 
limpid streams from their fountains, the rivers which like oil flow noiselessly out of the 
earth. Ascend to heaven and behold the lustre of the sun, the beauty of the moon, the stars 

114 ^ayyaveiac;. 


Homily XXIII 

that cluster like flowers 115 . “Why, what is this,” say you, “since we do not, I suppose, make 
use of them as of wealth?” Nay, we use them more than wealth, inasmuch as the use thereof 
is more needful, the enjoyment more secure. For thou hast no fear, lest, like money, any 
one should take them and go off: but you may be ever confident of having them, and that 
without anxiety or care. But if thou grieve because thou enjoyest them in common with 
others, and dost not possess them alone like money; it is not money, but mere covetousness, 
which thou seemest to me to be in love with: nor would even the money be an object of thy 
desire, if it had been placed within reach of all in common. 

[8.] Therefore, since we have found the beloved object, I mean Covetousness, come let 
me show thee how she hates and abhors thee, how many swords she sharpens against thee, 
how many pits she digs, how many nooses she ties, how many precipices she prepares; that 
thus at any rate thou mayest do away with the charm. Whence then are we to obtain this 
knowledge? From the highways, from the wars, from the sea, from the courts of justice. For 
she hath both filled the sea with blood, and the swords of the judges she often reddens 
contrary to law, and arms those who on the highway lie in wait day and night, and persuades 
men to forget nature, and makes parricides and matricides, and introduces all sorts of evils 
into man’s life. Which is the reason why Paul entitles her “a root of these things.” (1 Tim. 
vi. 10.) She suffers not her lovers to be in any better condition than those who work in the 
mines. For as they, perpetually shut up in darkness and in chains, labor unprofitably; so also 
these buried in the caves of avarice, no one using any force with them, voluntarily draw on 
their punishment, binding on themselves fetters that cannot be broken. And those con- 
demned to the mines at least when even comes on, are released from their toils; but these 
both by day and night are digging in these wretched mines. And to those there is a definite 
limit of that hard labor, but these know no limit, but the more they dig so much the greater 
hardship do they desire. And what if those do it unwillingly, but these of their own will? in 
that thou tellest me of the grievous part of the disease, that it is even impossible for them to 
be rid of it, since they do not so much as hate their wretchedness. But as a swine in mud, so 
also do these delight to wallow in the noisome mire of avarice, suffering worse things than 
those condemned ones. As to the fact that they are in a worse condition, hear the circum- 
stances of the one, and then thou wilt know the state of the other. 

Now it is said that that soil which is impregnated with gold has certain clefts and recesses 
in those gloomy caverns. The malefactor then condemned to labor in that place, taking for 
that purpose a lamp and a mattock, so, we are told, enters within, and carries with him a 
cruse to drop oil from thence into the lamp, because there is darkness even by day, without 
a ray of light, as I said before. Then when the time of day calls him to his wretched meal, 

115 rwv darpcov a avSiq. 


Homily XXIII 

himself, they say, is ignorant of the time, but his jailor from above striking violently on the 
cave, by that clattering sound declares to those who are at work below the end of the day. 

Do ye not shudder when ye hear all this? Let us see now, whether there be not things 
more grievous than these in the case of the covetous. For these too, in the first place, have 
a severer jailor, viz. avarice, and so much severer, as that besides their body he chains also 
their soul. And this darkness also is more awful than that. For it is not subject to sense, but 
they producing it within, whithersoever they go, carry it about with themselves. For the eye 
of their soul is put out: which is the reason why more than all Christ calls them wretched, 
saying, “But if the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness.” (S. 
23.) And they for their part have at least a lamp shining, but these are deprived even of this 
beam of light; and therefore every day they fall into countless pitfalls. And the condemned 
when night overtakes them have a respite, sailing into that calm port which is common to 
all the unfortunate, I mean the night: but against the covetous even this harbor is blocked 
up by their own avarice: such grievous thoughts have they even at night, since then, without 
disturbance from any one, at full leisure they cut themselves to pieces. 

Such are their circumstances in this world; but those in the next, what discourse shall 
exhibit? the intolerable furnaces, the rivers burning with fire, the gnashing of teeth, the 
chains never to be loosed, the envenomed worm, the rayless gloom, the never-ending 
miseries. Let us fear them, beloved, let us fear the fountain of so great punishments, the in- 
satiate madness, the destroyer of our salvation. For it is impossible at the same time to love 
both money and your soul. Let us be convinced that wealth is dust and ashes, that it leaves 
us when we depart hence, or rather that even before our departure it oftentimes darts away 
from us, and injures us both in regard of the future and in respect of the present life. For 
before hell fire, and before that punishment, even here it surrounds us with innumerable 
wars, and stirs up strifes and contests. For nothing is so apt to cause war as avarice: nothing 
so apt to produce beggary, whether it show itself in wealth or in poverty. For in the souls of 
poor men also this grievous disease ariseth, and aggravates their poverty the more. And if 
there be found a poor covetous man, such an one suffers not punishment in money, but in 
hunger. For he allows not himself to enjoy his moderate means with comfort, but both racks 
his belly with hunger and punishes his whole body with nakedness and cold, and every 
where appears more squalid and filthy than any prisoners; and is always wailing and 
lamenting as though he were more wretched than all, though there be ten thousand poorer 
than he. This man, whether he go into the market-place, goes away with many a stripe; or 
into the bath, or into the theatre, he will still be receiving more wounds, not only from the 
spectators, but also from those upon the stage, where he beholds not a few of the unchaste 
women glittering in gold. This man again, whether he sail upon the sea, regarding the 
merchants and their richly-freighted ships and their enormous profits, will not even count 
himself to live: or whether he travel by land, reckoning up the fields, the suburban farms, 


Homily XXIII 

the inns, the baths, the revenues arising out of them, will count his own life thenceforth not 
worth living; or whether thou shut him up at home, he will but rub and fret the wounds 
received in the market, and so do greater despite to his own soul: and he knows only one 
consolation for the evils which oppress him; death and deliverance from this life. 

And these things not the poor man only, but the rich also, will suffer, who falls into this 
disease, and so much more than the poor, inasmuch as the tyranny presses more vehemently 
on him, and the intoxication is greater. Wherefore also he will account himself poorer than 
all; or rather, he is poorer. For riches and poverty are determined not by the measure of the 
substance, but by the disposition of the mind: and he rather is the poorest of all, who is always 
hangering after more and is never able to stay this wicked lust. 

On all these accounts then let us flee covetousness, the maker of beggars, the destroyer 
of souls, the friend of hell, the enemy of the kingdom of heaven, the mother of all evils to- 
gether; and let us despise wealth that we may enjoy wealth, and with wealth may enjoy also 
the good things laid up for us; unto which may we all attain, &c. 


Homily XXIV 

Homily XXIV. 

1 Cor. x. 13 

There hath no temptation taken you, but such as man can bear: but God is faithful, Who will 
not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make 
also the way of escape, that ye may be able to endure it. 

Thus, because he terrified them greatly, relating the ancient examples, and threw them 
into an agony, saying, “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall; “though they 
had borne many temptations, and had exercised themselves many times therein; for “I was 
with you,” saith he, “in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling:” (1 Cor. ii. 3.) lest 
they should say, “Why terrify and alarm us? we are not unexercised in these troubles, for 
we have been both driven and persecuted, and many and continual dangers have we endured:” 
repressing again their pride, he says, “there hath no temptation taken you but such as man 
can bear,” i.e., small, brief, moderate. For he uses the expression “man can bear 1 16 ,” in respect 
of what is small; as when he says, “I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity 
of your flesh.” (Rom. vi. 19.) “Think not then great things,” saith he, “as though ye had 
overcome the storm. For never have ye seen a danger threatening death nor a temptation 
intending slaughter:” which also he said to the Hebrews, “ye have not yet resisted unto blood, 
striving against sin.” (Heb. xii. 4.) 

Then, because he terrified them, see how again he raises them up, at the same time re- 
commending moderation; in the words, “God is faithful, Who will not suffer you to be 
tempted above that ye are able.” There are therefore temptations which we are not able to 
bear. And what are these? All, so to speak. For the ability lies in God’s gracious influence; 
a power which we draw down by our own will. Wherefore that thou mayest know and see 
that not only those which exceed our power, but not even these which are “common to 
man” is it possible without assistance from God easily to bear, he added, 

“But will with the temptation also make the way of escape, that ye may be able to endure 

For, saith he, not even those moderate temptations, as I was remarking, may we bear 
by our own power: but even in them we require aid from Him in our warfare that we may 
pass through them, and until we have passed, bear them. For He gives patience and brings 
on a speedy release; so that in this way also the temptation becomes bearable. This he covertly 
intimates, saying, “will also make the way of escape, that ye may be able to bear it:” and all 
things he refers to Him. 

[2.] Ver. 14. “Wherefore, my brethren , flee from idolatry.” 

116 dv0pd)Tuvov. 

117 aSeAxpoi, rec. text dyontr|rcH, [which is well sustained. C.] 


Homily XXIV 

Again he courts them by the name of kindred, and urges them to be rid of this sin with 
all speed. For he did not say, simply, depart, but “flee;” and he calls the matter “idolatry,” 
and no longer bids them quit it merely on account of the injury to their neighbor, but signifies 
that the very thing of itself is sufficient to bring a great destruction. 

Ver. 15. “I speak as to wise men: judge ye what I say.” 

Because he hath cried out aloud and heightened the accusation, calling it idolatry; that 
he might not seem to exasperate them and to make his speech disgusting, in what follows 
he refers the decision to them, and sets his judges down on their tribunal with an encomium. 
“For I speak as to wise men,” saith he: which is the mark of one very confident of his own 
rights, that he should make the accused himself the judge of his allegations. 

Thus also he more elevates the hearer, when he discourses not as commanding nor as 
laying down the law, but as advising with them and as actually pleading before them. For 
with the Jews, as more foolishly and childishly disposed, God did not so discourse, nor did 
He in every instance acquaint them with the reasons of the commands, but merely enjoined 
them; but here, because we have the privilege of great liberty, we are even admitted to be 
counsellors. And he discourses as with friends, and says, “I need no other judges, do ye 
yourselves pass this sentence upon me, I take you for arbiters.” 

[3.] Ver. 16. “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a communion of the Blood 
of Christ?” 

What sayest thou, O blessed Paul? When thou wouldest appeal to the hearer’s reverence, 
when thou art making mention of awful mysteries, dost thou give the title of “cup of blessing” 
to that fearful and most tremendous cup? “Yea,” saith he; “and no mean title is that which 
was spoken. For when I call it ‘blessing,’ I mean thanksgiving, and when I call it thanksgiving 
I unfold all the treasure of God’s goodness, and call to mind those mighty gifts.” Since we 
too, recounting over the cup the unspeakable mercies of God and all that we have been made 
partakers of, so draw near to Him, and communicate; giving Him thanks that He hath de- 

1 i o 

livered from error the whole race of mankind ; that being afar off, He made them nigh; 
that when they had no hope and were without God in the world, He constituted them His 
own brethren and fellow-heirs. For these and all such things, giving thanks, thus we approach. 
“How then are not your doings inconsistent,” saith he, “O ye Corinthians; blessing God for 
delivering you from idols, yet running again to their tables?” 

118 “When we had fallen away, Thou didst raise us again, and didst not cease doing all things, until Thou 
hadst brought us up to Heaven, and given unto us freely Thy future Kingdom.” Liturgy of St. Chrysostom. Ed. 
Savile. vi. 996. “When we had fallen from our eternal life and were exiles from the Paradise of delight: Thou 
didst not cast us off to the end, but did, visit us continually,” &c. Lit. of St. Basil, t. ii. 677: and so in all the old 
Liturgies, vid. Brett’s Collection. 


Homily XXIV 

“The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a communion of the Blood of Christ?” 
Very persuasively spake he, and awfully. For what he says is this: “This which is in the cup 
is that which flowed from His side, and of that do we partake.” But he called it a cup of 
blessing, because holding it in our hands, we so exalt Him in our hymn, wondering, aston- 
ished at His unspeakable gift, blessing Him, among other things, for the pouring out of this 
self-same draught that we might not abide in error: and not only for the pouring it out, but 
also for the imparting thereof to us all. “Wherefore if thou desire blood,” saith He, “redden 
not the altar of idols with the slaughter of brute beasts, but My altar with My blood.” Tell 
me, What can be more tremendous than this? What more tenderly kind? This also lovers 
do. When they see those whom they love desiring what belongs to strangers and despising 
their own, they give what belongs to themselves, and so persuade them to withdraw them- 
selves from the gifts of those others. Lovers, however, display this liberality in goods and 
money and garments, but in blood none ever did so. Whereas Christ even herein exhibited 
His care and fervent love for us. And in the old covenant, because they were in an imperfect 
state, the blood which they used to offer to idols He Himself submitted to receive, that He 
might separate them from those idols; which very thing again was a proof of His unspeakable 
affection: but here He transferred the service to that which is far more awful and glorious, 
changing the very sacrifice itself, and instead of the slaughter of irrational creatures, com- 
manding to offer up Himself. 

[4.] “The bread which we break, is it not a communion of the Body of Christ?” Wherefore 
said he not, the participation? Because he intended to express something more and to point 
out how close was the union: in that we communicate not only by participating and partaking, 
but also by being united. For as that body is united to Christ, so also are we united to him 
by this bread. 

But why adds he also, “which we break?” For although in the Eucharist one may see this 
done, yet on the cross not so, but the very contrary. For, “A bone of Him,” saith one, “shall 
not be broken.” But that which He suffered not on the cross, this He suffers in the oblation 
for thy sake, and submits to be broken, that he may fill all men. 

Further, because he said, “a communion of the Body,” and that which communicates 
is another thing from that whereof it communicates; even this which seemeth to be but a 
small difference, he took away. For having said, “a communion of the Body,” he sought 
again to express something nearer. Wherefore also he added, 

Ver. 17. “For we, who are many, are one bread, one body.” “For why speak I of commu- 
nion?” saith he, “we are that self-same body.” For what is the bread? The Body of Christ. 
And what do they become who partake of it? The Body of Christ: not many bodies, but one 
body. For as the bread consisting of many grains is made one, so that the grains no where 
appear; they exist indeed, but their difference is not seen by reason of their conjunction; so 
are we conjoined both with each other and with Christ: there not being one body for thee, 


Homily XXIV 

and another for thy neighbor to be nourished by, but the very same for all. Wherefore also 
he adds, 

“For we all partake of the one bread.” Now if we are all nourished of the same and all 
become the same, why do we not also show forth the same love, and become also in this 
respect one? For this was the old way too in the time of our forefathers: “for the multitude 
of them that believed,” saith the text, “were of one heart and soul.” (Acts iv. 32.) Not so, 
however, now, but altogether the reverse. Many and various are the contests betwixt all, and 
worse than wild beasts are we affected towards each other’s members. And Christ indeed 
made thee so far remote, one with himself: but thou dost not deign to be united even to thy 
brother with due exactness, but separatest thyself, having had the privilege of so great love 
and life from the Lord. For he gave not simply even His own body; but because the former 
nature of the flesh which was framed out of earth, had first become deadened by sin and 
destitute of life; He brought in, as one may say, another sort of dough and leaven, His own 
flesh, by nature indeed the same, but free from sin and full of life; and gave to all to partake 
thereof, that being nourished by this and laying aside the old dead material, we might be 
blended together unto that which is living and eternal, by means of this table. 

[5.] Ver. 18. “Behold Israel after the flesh: have not they which eat the sacrifices commu- 
nion with the altar?” 

Again, from the old covenant he leads them unto this point also. For because they were 
far beneath the greatness of the things which had been spoken, he persuades them both 
from former things and from those to which they were accustomed. And he says well, “ac- 
cording to the flesh,” as though they themselves were according to the Spirit. And what he 
says is of this nature: “even from persons of the grosser sort ye may be instructed that they 
who eat the sacrifices, have communion with the altar.” Dost thou see how he intimates 
that they who seemed to be perfect have not perfect knowledge, if they know not even this, 
that the result of these sacrifices to many oftentimes is a certain communion and friendship 
with devils, the practice drawing them on by degrees? For if among men the fellowship of 
salt 119 and the table becomes an occasion and token of friendship, it is possible that this 
may happen also in the case of devils. 

But do thou, I pray, consider, how with regard to the Jews he said not, “they are par- 
takers with God,” but, “they have communion with the altar;” for what was placed thereon 
was burnt: but in respect to the Body of Christ, not so. But how? It is “a Communion of the 
Lord’s Body.” For not with the altar, but with Christ Himself, do we have communion. 

119 Cf. Lev. ii. 13; Numbers xviii. 19; 2 Chron. xiii. 5. Theodoret on the latter place says, “By a covenant of 
salt for ever, he expresses the stability of the Kingdom, since even Barbarians oftentimes upon eating with their 
enemies keep the peace entire, remembering the salt thereof.” 


Homily XXIV 

But having said that they have “communion with the altar,” afterwards fearing lest he 
should seem to discourse as if the idols had any power and could do some injury, see again 
how he overthrows them, saying, 

Ver. 19. “What say I then? That an idol is any thing? or that a thing sacrificed to idols 
is any thing?” 

As if he had said, “Now these things I affirm, and try to withdraw you from the idols, 
not as though they could do any injury or had any power: for an idol is nothing; but I wish 
you to despise them.” “And if thou wilt have us despise them,” saith one, “wherefore dost 
thou carefully withdraw us from them?” Because they are not offered to thy Lord. 

Ver. 20. “For that which the Gentiles sacrifice,” saith he, “they sacrifice to demons, 
and not to God.” 

Do not then run to the contrary things. For neither if thou wert a king’s son, and having 
the privilege of thy father’s table, shouldest leave it and choose to partake of the table of the 
condemned and the prisoners in the dungeon, would thy father permit it, but with great 
vehemence he would withdraw thee; not as though the table could harm thee, but because 
it disgraces thy nobility and the royal table. For verily these too are servants who have offen- 
ded; dishonored, condemned, prisoners reserved for intolerable punishment, accountable 
for ten thousand crimes. How then art thou not ashamed to imitate the gluttonous and 
vulgar crew, in that when these condemned persons set out a table, thou runnest thither 
and partakest of the viands? Here is the cause why I seek to withdraw thee. For the intention 
of the sacrificers, and the person of the receivers, maketh the things set before thee unclean. 

“And I would not that ye should have communion with demon.” Perceivest thou the 
kindness of a careful father? Perceivest thou also the very word, what force it hath to express 
his feeling? “For it is my wish,” saith he, “that you have nothing in common with them.” 
[6.] Next, because he brought in the saying byway of exhortation, lest any of the grosser 
sort should make light of it as having license, because he said, “I would not,” and, “judge 
ye;” he positively affirms in what follows and lays down the law, saying, 

Ver. 21. “Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of demons: ye cannot partake 
of the Lord’s table, and of the table of demons.” 

And he contents himself with the mere terms, for the purpose of keeping them away. 
Then, speaking also to their sense of shame, 

Ver. 22. Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than He?’ i.e., Are 
we tempting Him, whether He is able to punish us, and irritating Him by going over to the 
adversaries and taking our stand with His enemies?” And this he said, reminding them of 
an ancient history and of their fathers’ transgression. Wherefore also he makes use of this 

120 6 yap 0uei. rec. text aXX on a 0uei. [which is correct. C.] 

121 Ttapa^r|A.oO(tev. 


Homily XXIV 

expression, which Moses likewise of old used against the Jews, accusing them of idolatry in 
the person of God. “For they,” saith He, “moved Me to jealousy with that which is not 
God; they provoked Me to anger with their idols.” (Deut. xxxii. 21.) 

“Are we stronger than He?” Dost thou see how terribly, how awfully he rebukes them, 
thoroughly shaking their very nerves, and by his way of reducing them to an absurdity, 
touching them to the quick and bringing down their pride? “Well, but why,” some one will 
say, “did he not set down these things at first, which would be most effectual to withdraw 
them?” Because it is his custom to prove his point by many particulars, and to place the 
strongest last, and to prevail by proving more than was necessary. On this account then, he 
began from the lesser topics, and so made his way to that which is the sum of all evils: since 
thus that last point also became more easily admitted, their mind having been smoothed 
down by the things said before. 

Ver. 23, 24. “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are 
lawful for me, but all things edify not. Let no man seek his own, but each his neighbor’s 

Seest thou his exact wisdom? Because it was likely that they might say, “I am perfect 
and master of myself, and it does me no harm to partake of what is set before me;” “Even 
so,” saith he, “perfect thou art and master of thyself; do not however look to this, but 
whether the result involve not injury, nay subversion.” For both these he mentioned, saying, 
“All things are not expedient, all things edify not;” and using the former with reference to 
one’s self, the latter, to one’s brother: since the clause, “are not expedient,” is a covert intim- 
ation of the ruin of the person to whom he speaks; but the clause, “edify not,” of the stumbling 
block to the brother. 

Wherefore also he adds, “Let no man seek his own;” which he every where through the 
whole Epistle insists upon and in that to the Romans; when he says, “For even Christ pleased 
not Himself:” (Rom. xv. 3.) and again, “Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking 
mine own profit.” (1 Cor. x. 33.) And again in this place; he does not, however, fully work 
it out here. That is, since in what had gone before he had established it at length, and shown 
that he no where “seeks his own,” but both “to the Jews became as a Jew and to them that 
are without law as without law,” and used not his own “liberty” and “right” at random, but 
to the profit of all, serving all; he here broke off, content with a few words, by these few 
guiding them to the remembrance of all which had been said. 

[7.] These things therefore knowing, let us also, beloved, consult for the good of the 
brethren and preserve unity with them. For to this that fearful and tremendous sacrifice 
leads us, warning us above all things to approach it with one mind and fervent love, and 
thereby becoming eagles, so to mount up to the very heaven, nay, even beyond the heaven. 

122 Ttap£^r|A.a)aav. 


Homily XXIV 

“For wheresoever the carcase is,” saith He, “there also will be the eagles,” (St. Matt. xxiv. 
28.) calling His body a carcase by reason of His death. For unless He had fallen, we should 
not have risen again. But He calls us eagles, implying that he who draws nigh to this Body 
must be on high and have nothing common with the earth, nor wind himself downwards 
and creep along; but must ever be soaring heavenwards, and look on the Sun of Righteous- 
ness, and have the eye of his mind quick- sighted. For eagles, not daws, have a right to this 

1 05 

table. Those also shall then meet Him descending from heaven, who now worthily have 
this privilege, even as they who do so unworthily, shall suffer the extremest torments. 

For if one would not inconsiderately receive a king — (why say I a king? nay were it but 
a royal robe, one would not inconsiderately touch it with unclean hands;) — though he should 
be in solitude, though alone, though no man were at hand: and yet the robe is nought but 
certain threads spun by worms: and if thou admirest the dye, this too is the blood of a dead 
fish; nevertheless, one would not choose to venture on it with polluted hands: I say now, if 
even a man’s garment be what one would not venture inconsiderately to touch, what shall 
we say of the Body of Him Who is God over all, spotless, pure, associate with the Divine 
Nature, the Body whereby we are, and live; whereby the gates of hell were broken down and 
the sanctuaries 124 of heaven opened? how shall we receive this with so great insolence? Let 
us not, I pray you, let us not slay ourselves by our irreverence, but with all awfulness and 
purity draw nigh to It; and when thou seest It set before thee, say thou to thyself, “Because 

123 “This Table is not, saith Chrysostom, for chattering jays, but for eagles, who fly thither where the dead 
body lieth.” Horn. Of the worthy receiving of the Sacrament, &c. This interpretation seems to be generally re- 
cognised by the Fathers, See S. Iren. iv. 14; Orig. on S. Matt. §. 47; S. Ambr. on S. Luke xvii. 7. “The souls of the 
righteous are compared unto eagles, because they seek what is on high, leave the low places, are accounted to 
lead a long life. Wherefore also David saith to his own soul, Thy youth shall be renewed as of an eagle. [Ps. ciii. 
5.] If then we have come to know what the eagles are, we can no longer doubt about the Body ; especially if we 
recollect that Body which Joseph once received from Pilate. Seem they not unto thee as eagles around a Body, 
I mean Mary the wife of Cleopas, and Mary Magdelene and Mary the Mother of the Lord, and the gathering of 
the Apostles around the Lord’s entombing? Doth it not seem to thee as eagles around a body, when the Son of 
Man shall come with the mystical clouds, and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him ? “There 
is also the Body concerning which it was said, My Flesh is meat indeed, and My Blood is drink indeed. Around 
this Body are certain eagles, which hover over It with spiritual wings. They are also eagles round the Body, which 
believe the Jesus is come in the Flesh: since every spirit which confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is 
of God. Wheresoever then faith is, there is the Sacrament, there the resting place of holiness. Again, this Body 
is the Church, wherein by the grace of Baptism we are renovated in spirit, and whatever tends to decay through 
old age is refreshed, for ages of new life.” Comp, also Theodoret on Providence Orat. 5. t. iv. 550. Ed. Schultze; 
S. Jerome, Ep. xlvi. 11; S. Aug. Qucest. Evangel. 1. 42. 

124 dnpiSec;; originally “arches,” afterwards “the vaults of the sanctuary or choir in a church.” 


Homily XXIV 

of this Body am I no longer earth and ashes, no longer a prisoner, but free: because of this 
I hope for heaven, and to receive the good things therein, immortal life, the portion of angels, 
converse with Christ; this Body, nailed and scourged, was more than death could stand 
against; this Body the very sun saw sacrificed, and turned aside his beams; for this both the 
veil was rent in that moment, and rocks were burst asunder, and all the earth was shaken. 
This is even that Body, the blood-stained, the pierced, and that out of which gushed the 
saving fountains, the one of blood, the other of water, for all the world.” 

Wouldest thou from another source also learn its power? Ask of her diseased with an 
issue of blood, who laid hold not of Itself, but of the garment with which It was clad; nay 
not of the whole of this, but of the hem: ask of the sea, which bare It on its back: ask even 
of the Devil himself, and say, “Whence hast thou that incurable stroke? whence hast thou 
no longer any power? Whence art thou captive? By whom hast thou been seized in thy 
flight?” And he will give no other answer than this, “The Body that was crucified.” By this 
were his goads broken in pieces; by this was his head crushed; by this were the powers and 
the principalities made a show of. “For,” saith he, “having put off from himself principalities 
and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Col. ii. 15.) 

Ask also Death, and say, “whence is it that thy sting hath been taken away? thy victory 
abolished? thy sinews cut out? and thou become the laughing-stock of girls and children, 
who wast before a terror even to kings and to all righteous men?” And he will ascribe it to 
this Body. For when this was crucified, then were the dead raised up, then was that prison 


burst, and the gates of brass were broken, and the dead were loosed, and the keepers of 
hell-gate all cowered in fear. And yet, had He been one of the many, death on the contrary 
should have become more mighty; but it was not so. For He was not one of the many. 
Therefore was death dissolved. And as they who take food which they are unable to retain, 
on account of that vomit up also what was before lodged in them; so also it happened unto 
death. That Body, which he could not digest, he received: and therefore had to cast forth 
that which he had within him. Yea, he travailed in pain, whilst he held Him, and was 
straitened until He vomited Him up. Wherefore saith the Apostle, “Having loosed the pains 
of death.” (Acts xi. 24.) For never woman labouring of child was so full of anguish as he was 
torn and racked in sunder, while he held the Body of the Lord. And that which happened 
to the Babylonian dragon, when, having taken the food it burst asunder in the midst, this 
also happened unto him. For Christ came not forth again by the mouth of death, but having 
burst asunder and ripped up in the very midst, the belly of the dragon, thus from His secret 
chambers (Ps. xix. 5.) right gloriously He issued forth and flung abroad His beams not to 
this heaven alone, but to the very throne most high. For even thither did He carry it up. 

125 d<pei0r|aav, ms. Reg. Bened. aviarr|aav. 

126 Bel and the Dragon, v. 27. 


Homily XXIV 

This Body hath He given to us both to hold and to eat; a thing appropriate to intense 
love. For those whom we kiss vehemently, we oft-times even bite with our teeth. Wherefore 
also Job, indicating the love of his servants towards him, said, that they ofttimes, out of their 
great affection towards him, said, “Oh! that we were filled with his flesh!” (Job xxxi. 31.) 
Even so Christ hath given to us to be filled with His flesh, drawing us on to greater love. 

[8.] Let us draw nigh to Him then with fervency and with inflamed love, that we may 
not have to endure punishment. For in proportion to the greatness of the benefits bestowed 
on us, so much the more exceedingly are we chastised when we show ourselves unworthy 
of the bountifulness. This Body, even lying in a manger, Magi reverenced. Yea, men profane 
and barbarous, leaving their country and their home, both set out on a long journey, and 
when they came, with fear and great trembling worshipped Him. Let us, then, at least imitate 
those Barbarians, we who are citizens of heaven. For they indeed when they saw Him but 
in a manger, and in a hut, and no such thing was in sight as thou beholdest now, drew nigh 
with great awe; but thou beholdest Him not in the manger but on the altar, not a woman 
holding Him in her arms, but the priest standing by, and the Spirit with exceeding bounty 
hovering over the gifts set before us. Thou dost not see merely this Body itself as they did, 
but thou knowest also Its power, and the whole economy, and art ignorant of none of the 
holy things which are brought to pass by It, having been exactly initiated into all. 

Let us therefore rouse ourselves up and be filled with horror, and let us show forth a 
reverence far beyond that of those Barbarians; that we may not by random and careless ap- 
proaches heap fire upon our own heads. But these things I say, not to keep us from approach- 
ing, but to keep us from approaching without consideration. For as the approaching at 
random is dangerous, so the not communicating in those mystical suppers is famine and 
death. For this Table is the sinews of our soul, the bond of our mind, the foundation of our 
confidence, our hope, our salvation, our light, our life. When with this sacrifice we depart 
into the outer world, with much confidence we shall tread the sacred threshold, fenced 
round on every side as with a kind of golden armor. 

And why speak I of the world to come? Since here this mystery makes earth become to 
thee a heaven. Open only for once the gates of heaven and look in; nay, rather not of heaven, 
but of the heaven of heavens; and then thou wilt behold what I have been speaking of. For 
what is there most precious of all, this will I show thee lying upon the earth. For as in royal 
palaces, what is most glorious of all is not walls, nor golden roofs, but the person of the king 
sitting on the throne; so likewise in heaven the Body of the King. But this, thou art now 
permitted to see upon earth. For it is not angels, nor archangels, nor heavens and heavens 
of heavens, that I show thee, but the very Lord and Owner of these. Perceivest thou how 
that which is more precious than all things is seen by thee on earth; and not seen only, but 
also touched; and not only touched, but likewise eaten; and after receiving It thou goest 


Homily XXIV 

Make thy soul clean then, prepare thy mind for the reception of these mysteries. For if 
thou wert entrusted to carry a king’s child with the robes, the purple, and the diadem, thou 
wouldest cast away all things which are upon the earth. But now that it is no child of man 
how royal soever, but the only-begotten Son of God Himself, Whom thou receivedst; dost 
thou not thrill with awe, tell me, and cast away all the love of all worldly things, and have 
no bravery but that wherewith to adorn thyself? or dost thou still look towards earth, and 
love money, and pant after gold? What pardon then canst thou have? what excuse? Knowest 
thou not that all this worldly luxury is loathsome to thy Lord? Was it not for this that on 
His birth He was laid in a manger, and took to Himself a mother of low estate? Did He not 
for this say to him that was looking after gain, “But the Son of Man hath not where to lay 
His head?” (St. Matt. viii. 20.) 

And what did the disciples? Did they not observe the same law, being taken to houses 
of the poor and lodged, one with a tanner, another with a tent-maker, and with the seller 
of purple? For they inquired not after the splendor of the house, but for the virtues of men’s 

These therefore let us also emulate, hastening by the beauty of pillars and of marbles, 
and seeking the mansions which are above; and let us tread under foot all the pride here 
below with all love of money, and acquire a lofty mind. For if we be sober-minded, not even 
this whole world is worthy of us, much less porticoes and arcades. Wherefore, I beseech 
you, let us adorn our souls, let us fit up this house which we are also to have with us when 
we depart; that we may attain even to the eternal blessings, through the grace and mercy, 


Homily XXV 

Homily XXV. 

1 Cor. x. 25 

Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, eat, asking no question for conscience sake. 

Having said that “they could not drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of the devils,” 
and having once for all led them away from those tables, by Jewish examples, by human 
reasonings, by the tremendous Mysteries, by the rites solemnized among the idols ; and 
having filled them with great fear; that he might not by this fear drive again to another ex- 
treme, and they be forced, exercising a greater scrupulosity than was necessary, to feel alarm, 
lest possibly even without their knowledge there might come in some such thing either from 
the market or from some other quarter; to release them from this strait, he saith, “Whatsoever 
is sold in the shambles, eat, asking no question.” “For,” saith he, “if thou eat in ignorance 
and not knowingly, thou art not subject to the punishment: it being thenceforth a matter 
not of greediness, but of ignorance.” 

Nor doth he free the man only from this anxiety, but also from another, establishing 
them in thorough security and liberty. For he doth not even suffer them to “question;” i.e., 
to search and enquire, whether it be an idol- sacrifice or no such thing; but simply to eat 
every thing which comes from the market, not even acquainting one’s self with so much as 
this, what it is that is set before us. So that even he that eateth, if in ignorance, may be rid 
of anxiety. For such is the nature of those things which are not in their essence evil, but 
through the man’s intention make him unclean. Wherefore he saith, “asking no question.” 

Ver. 26. “For to the Lord belongeth the earth and the fulness thereof.” Not to the devils. 
Now if the earth and the fruits and the beasts be all His, nothing is unclean: but it becomes 
unclean otherwise, from our intention and our disobedience. Wherefore he not only gave 
permission, but also, 

Ver. 27. “If one of them that believe not biddeth you,” saith he, “to a feast, and you are 
disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.” 

See again his moderation. For he did not command and make a law that they should 
withdraw themselves, yet neither did he forbid it. And again, should they depart, he frees 
them from all suspicion. Now what may be the account of this? That so great curiousness 
might not seem to arise from any fear and cowardice. For he who makes scrupulous enquiry 
doth so as being in dread: but he who, on hearing the fact, abstains, abstains as out of con- 
tempt and hatred and aversion. Wherefore Paul, purposing to establish both points, saith, 
“Whatsoever is set before you, eat.” 

127 Savile conj. eiScoAetou;, “in the idol Temples:” but eiStoAoiq is the actual reading. 


Homily XXV 

Ver. 28. “But if any man say unto you, This hath been offered in sacrifice unto idols; 
eat not, for his sake that showed it.” 

Thus it is not at all for any power that they have but as accursed, that he bids abstain 
from them. Neither then, as though they could injure you, fly from them, (for they have no 
strength;) nor yet, because they have no strength, indifferently partake: for it is the table of 
beings hostile and degraded. Wherefore he said, “eat not for his sake that showed it, and for 

i ? o 

conscience sake. For the earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof.” 

Seest thou how both when he bids them eat and when they must abstain, he brings 
forward the same testimony? “For I do not forbid,” saith he, “for this cause as though they 
belonged to others: (“for the earth is the Lord’s:”) but for the reason I mentioned, for con- 
science sake; i.e., that it may not be injured.” Ought one therefore to inquire scrupulously? 
“Nay” saith he “for I said not thy conscience, but his. For I have already said, ‘for his sake 
that showed it.’” And again, v. 29, “Conscience, I say, not thine own, but the other’s.” 

[2.] But perhaps some one may say, “The brethren indeed, as is natural, thou sparest, 
and dost not suffer us to taste for their sakes, lest their conscience being weak might be 
emboldened to eat the idol sacrifices. But if it be some heathen, what is this man to thee? 
Was it not thine own word, ‘What have I to do with judging them that are without?’ (1 Cor. 
v. 1 2.) Wherefore then dost thou on the contrary care for them?” “Not for him is my care,” 
he replies, “but in this case also for thee.” To which effect also he adds, 

“For why is my liberty judged by another conscience?” meaning by “liberty,” that which 
is left without caution or prohibition. For this is liberty, freed from Jewish bondage. And 
what he means is this: “God hath made me free and above all reach of injury, but the Gentile 
knoweth not how to judge of my rule of life, nor to see into the liberality of my Master, but 
will condemn and say to himself, ‘Christianity is a fable; they abstain from the idols, they 
shun demons, and yet cleave to the things offered to them: great is their gluttony.’” “And 
what then?” it may be said. “What harm is it to us, should he judge us unfairly?” But how 
much better to give him no room to judge at all! For if thou abstain, he will not even say 
this. “How,” say you, “will he not say it? For when he seeth me not making these inquiries, 
either in the shambles or in the banquet; what should hinder him from using this language 
and condemning me, as one who partakes without discrimination?” It is not so at all. For 
thou partakest, not as of idol-sacrifices, but as of things clean. And if thou makest no nice 
enquiry, it is that thou mayest signify that thou fearest not the things set before thee; this 
being the reason why, whether thou enterest a house of Gentiles or goest into the market, 
I suffer thee not to ask questions; viz. lest thou become timid and perplexed, and oc- 
casion thyself needless trouble. 

128 [The latest editions omit this clause as unsustained by ms. authority and needless to the argument. C.] 

129 vJwcpoSefic. 

130 ArvonAriT 


Homily XXV 

Ver. 30. “If I by grace partake, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?” 
“Of what dost thou ‘by grace partake?’ tell me.” Of the gifts of God. For His grace is so great, 
as to render my soul unstained and above all pollution. For as the sun sending down his 
beams upon many spots of pollution, withdraws them again pure; so likewise and much 
more, we, living in the midst of the world remain pure, if we will, by how much the power 
we have is even greater than his. “Why then abstain?” say you. Not as though I should become 
unclean, far from it; but for my brother’s sake, and that I may not become a partaker with 
devils, and that I may not be judged by the unbeliever. For in this case it is no longer now 
the nature of the thing, but the disobedience and the friendship with devils which maketh 
me unclean, and the purpose of heart worketh the pollution. 

But what is, “why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks? “I, for my part,” 
saith he, “give thanks to God that He hath thus set me on high, and above the low estate of 
the Jews, so that from no quarter am I injured. But the Gentiles not knowing my high rule 
of life will suspect the contrary, and will say, ‘Here are Christians indulging a taste for our 
customs; they are a kind of hypocrites, abusing the demons and loathing them, yet running 
to their tables; than which what can be more senseless? We conclude that not for truth’s 
sake, but through ambition and love of power they have betaken themselves to this doctrine.’ 
What folly then would it be that in respect of those things whereby I have been so benefited 
as even to give solemn thanks, in respect of these I should become the cause of evil-speaking?” 
“But these things, even as it is,” say you, “will the Gentile allege, when he seeth me not 
making enquiry.” In no wise. For all things are not full of idol- sacrifices so that he should 
suspect this: nor dost thou thyself taste of them as idol-sacrifices. But not then scrupulous 
overmuch, nor again, on the other hand, when any say that it is an idol-sacrifice, do thou 
partake. For Christ gave thee grace and set thee on high and above all injury from that 
quarter, not that thou mightest be evil spoken of, nor that the circumstance which hath been 
such a gain to thee as to be matter of special thanksgiving, should so injure others as to make 
them even blaspheme. “Nay, why,” saith he, “do I not say to the Gentile, ‘I eat, I am no wise 
injured, and I do not this as one in friendship with the demons’?” Because thou canst not 
persuade him, even though thou shouldst say it ten thousand times: weak as he is and hostile. 
For if thy brother hath not yet been persuaded by thee, much less the enemy and the Gentile. 
If he is possessed by his consciousness of the idol- sacrifice, much more the unbeliever. And 
besides, what occasion have we for so great trouble? 

“What then? whereas we have known Christ and give thanks, while they blaspheme, 
shall we therefore abandon this custom also?” Far from it. For the thing is not the same. For 
in the one case, great is our gain from bearing the reproach; but in the other, there will be 
no advantage. Wherefore also he said before, “for neither if we eat, are we the better; nor if 
we eat not, are we the worse.” (c. viii. 8.) And besides this too he showed that the thing was 


Homily XXV 

to be avoided, so that even on another ground ought they to be abstained from, not on this 
account only but also for the other reasons which he assigned. 

[3.] Ver. 31. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory 
of God.” 

Perceivest thou how from the subject before him, he carried out the exhortation to what 
was general, giving us one, the most excellent of all aims, that God in all things should be 

Ver. 32. “Give no occasion of stumbling, either to Jews, or to Greeks, or to the Church 
of God:” i.e., give no handle to anyone: since in the case supposed, both thy brother is offen- 
ded, and the Jew will the more hate and condemn thee, and the Gentile in like manner deride 
thee even as a gluttonous man and a hypocrite. 

Not only, however, should the brethren receive no hurt from us, but to the utmost of 
our power not even those that are without. For if we are “light,” and “leaven,” and “luminar- 
ies,” and “salt,” we ought to enlighten, not to darken; to bind, not to loosen; to draw to 
ourselves the unbelievers, not to drive them away. Why then puttest thou to flight those 
whom thou oughtest to draw to thee? Since even Gentiles are hurt, when they see us reverting 
to such things: for they know not our mind nor that our soul hath come to be above all 
pollution of sense. And the Jews too, and the weaker brethren, will suffer the same. 

Seest thou how many reasons he hath assigned for which we ought to abstain from the 
idol-sacrifices? Because of their unprofitableness, because of their needlessness, because of 
the injury to our brother, because of the evil-speaking of the Jew, because of the reviling of 
the Gentile, because we ought not to be partakers with demons, because the thing is a kind 
of idolatry. 

Further, because he had said, “give no occasion of stumbling,” and he made them re- 
sponsible for the injury done, both to the Gentiles and to the Jews; and the saying was 
grievous; see how he renders it acceptable and light, putting himself forward, and saying, 

Ver. 33. “Even as I also please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but 
the profit of the many, that they may be saved.” 

Chap. xi. ver. 1. “Be ye imitators of me, even as I also am of Christ.” 

This is a rule of the most perfect Christianity, this is a landmark exactly laid down, this 
is the point that stands highest of all; viz. the seeking those things which are for the common 
profit: which also Paul himself declared, by adding, “even as I also am of Christ.” For nothing 
can so make a man an imitator of Christ as caring for his neighbors. Nay, though thou 
shouldest fast, though thou shouldest lie upon the ground, and even strangle thyself, but 
take no thought for thy neighbor; thou hast wrought nothing great, but still standest far 
from this Image, while so doing. However, in the case before us, even the very thing itself 
is naturally useful, viz; the abstaining from idol-sacrifices. But “I,” saith he, “have done many 
of those things which were unprofitable also: e.g., when I used circumcision, when I offered 


Homily XXV 

sacrifice; for these, were any one to examine them in themselves, rather destroy those that 
follow after them and cause them to fall from salvation: nevertheless, I submitted even to 
these on account of the advantage therefrom: but here is no such thing. For in that case, 
except there accrue a certain benefit and except they be done for others’ sake, then the thing 
becomes injurious: but in this, though there be none made to stumble, even so ought one 
to abstain from the things forbidden. 

But not only to things hurtful have I submitted, but also to things toilsome. For, “I 
robbed other Churches,” saith he, “taking wages of them; (2 Cor. xi. 8.) and when it was 
lawful to eat and not to work, I sought not this, but chose to perish of hunger rather than 
offend another.” This is why he says, “I please all men in all things.” “Though it be against 
the law, though it be laborious and hazardous, which is to be done, I endure all for the profit 
of others. So then, being above all in perfection, he became beneath all in condescension.” 

[4.] For no virtuous action can be very exalted, when it doth not distribute its benefit 
to others also: as is shown by him who brought the one talent safe, and was cut in sunder 
because he had not made more of it. And thou then, brother, though thou shouldest remain 
without food, though thou shouldest sleep upon the ground, though thou shouldest eat 
ashes and be ever wailing, and do good to no other; thou wilt do no great work. For so also 
those great and noble persons who were in the beginning made this their chiefest care: ex- 
amine accurately their life, and thou wilt see clearly that none of them ever looked to his 
own things, but each one to the things of his neighbor, whence also they shone the brighter. 
For so Moses (to mention him first) wrought many and great wonders and signs; but 
nothing made him so great as that blessed voice which he uttered unto God, saying, “If Thou 
wilt forgive their sin,” forgive; “but if not, blot me also out.” (Exod. xxxii. 32.) Such too was 
David: wherefore also he said, “I the shepherd have sinned, and I have done wickedly, but 
these, the flock, what have they done? Let Thine hand be upon me and upon my father’s 
house.” (2 Sam. xxiv. 17.) So likewise Abraham sought not his own profit, but the profit of 
many. Wherefore he both exposed himself to dangers and besought God for those who in 
no wise belonged to him. 

Well: these indeed so became glorious. But as for those who sought their own, consider 
what harm too they received. The nephew, for instance, of the last mentioned, because he 
listened to the saying, “If thou wilt go to the right, I will go to the left;” (Gen. xiii. 9.) and 
accepting the choice, sought his own profit, did not even find his own: but this region was 
burned up, while that remained untouched. Jonah again, not seeking the profit of many, 
but his own, was in danger even of perishing: and while the city stood fast, he himself was 
tossed about and overwhelmed in the sea. But when he sought the profit of many, then he 
also found his own. So likewise Jacob among the flocks, not seeking his own gain, had ex- 
ceeding riches for his portion. And Joseph also, seeking the profit of his brethren, found his 
own. At least, being sent by his father, (Gen. xxxvii. 14.) he said not, “What is this? Hast 


Homily XXV 

thou not heard that for a vision and certain dreams they even attempted to tear me in pieces, 
and I was held responsible for my dreams, and suffer punishment for being beloved of thee? 
What then will they not do when they get me in the midst of them?” He said none of these 
things, he thought not of them, but prefers the care of his brethren above all. Therefore he 
enjoyed also all the good things which followed, which both made him very brilliant and 
declared him glorious. Thus also Moses, — for nothing hinders that we should a second time 
make mention of him, and behold how he overlooked his own things and sought the things 
of others: — I say this Moses, being conversant in a king’s court, because he “counted the 
reproach of Christ (Heb. xi. 26.) greater riches than the treasures of Egypt;” and having cast 
them even all out of his hands, became a partaker of the afflictions of the Hebrews; — so far 
from being himself enslaved, he liberated them also from bondage. 

Well: these surely are great things and worthy of an angelical life. But the conduct of 
Paul far exceeds this. For all the rest leaving their own blessings chose to be partakers in the 
afflictions of others: but Paul did a thing much greater. For it was not that he consented to 
be a partaker in others’ misfortunes, but he chose himself to be at all extremities that other 
men might enjoy blessings. Now it is not the same for one who lives in luxury to cast away 
his luxury and suffer adversity, as for one himself alone suffering adversity, to cause others 
to be in security and honor. For in the former case, though it be a great thing to exchange 
prosperity for affliction for your neighbor’s sake, nevertheless it brings some consolation 
to have partakers in the misfortune. But consenting to be himself alone in the distress that 
others may enjoy their good things, — this belongs to a much more energetic soul, and to 
Paul’s own spirit. 

And not by this only, but by another and greater excellency doth he surpass all those 
before mentioned. That is, Abraham and all the rest exposed themselves to dangers in the 
present life, and all these were but asking for this kind of death once for all: but Paul prayed 
(Rom. ix. 3.) that he might fall from the glory of the world to come for the sake of others’ 



I may mention also a third point of superiority. And what is this? That some of those, 
though they interceded for the persons who conspired against them, nevertheless it was for 
those with whose guidance they had been entrusted: and the same thing happened as if one 
should stand up for a wild and lawless son, but still a son: whereas Paul wished to be accursed 
in the stead of those with whose guardianship he was not entrusted. For to the Gentiles was 
he sent. Dost thou perceive the greatness of his soul and the loftiness of his spirit, transcend- 
ing the very heaven? This man do thou emulate: but if thou canst not, at least follow those 
who shone in the old covenant. For thus shalt thou find thine own profit, if thou seekest 
that of thy neighbor. Wherefore when thou feelest backward to care for thy brother, consid- 

131 [But the Apostle did not say absolutely “I wish,” but “I could wish” or pray. The difference is great. C.] 


Homily XXV 

ering that no otherwise canst thou be saved, at least for thine own sake stand thou up for 
him and his interests. 

[5.] And although what hath been said is sufficient to convince thee that no otherwise 
is it possible to secure our own benefit: yet if thou wouldst also assure thyself of it by the 
examples of common life, conceive a fire happening any where to be kindled in a house, 
and then some of the neighbors with a view to their own interest refusing to confront the 
danger but shutting themselves up and remaining at home, in fear lest some one find his 
way in and purloin some part of the household goods; how great punishment will they en- 
dure? Since the fire will come on and burn down likewise all that is theirs; and because they 
looked not to the profit of their neighbor, they lose even their own besides. For so God, 
willing to bind us all to each other, hath imposed upon things such a necessity, that in the 
profit of one neighbor that of the other is bound up; and the whole world is thus constituted. 
And therefore in a vessel too, if a storm come on, and the steersman, leaving the profit of 
the many, should seek his own only, he will quickly sink both himself and them. And of 
each several art too we may say that should it look to its own profit only, life could never 
stand, nor even the art itself which so seeketh its own. Therefore the husbandman sows not 
so much corn only as is sufficient for himself, since he would long ago have famished both 
himself and others; but seeks the profit of the many: and the soldier takes the field against 
dangers, not that he may save himself, but that he may also place his cities in security: and 
the merchant brings not home so much as may be sufficient for himself alone, but for many 
others also. 

Now if any say, “each man doeth this, not looking to my interest, but his own, for he 
engages in all these things to obtain for himself money and glory and security, so that in 
seeking my profit he seeks his own:” this also do I say and long since wished to hear from 
you, and for this have I framed all my discourse; viz. to signify that thy neighbor then seeks 
his own profit, when he looks to thine. For since men would no otherwise make up their 
mind to seek the things of their neighbor, except they were reduced to this necessity; 
therefore God hath thus joined things together, and suffers them not to arrive at their own 
profit except they first travel through the profit of others. 

Well then, this is natural to man, thus to follow after his neighbors’ advantage; but one 
ought to be persuaded not from this reason, but from what pleases God. For it is not possible 
to be saved, wanting this; but though thou shouldest exercise the highest perfection of the 
work and neglect others who are perishing, thou wilt gain no confidence towards God. 
Whence is this evident? From what the blessed Paul declared. “For if I bestow my goods to 
feed the poor, and give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing,” 
(1 Cor. xiii. 3.) saith he. Seeth thou how much Paul requireth of us? And yet he that bestowed 
his goods to feed the poor, sought not his own good, but that of his neighbor. But this alone 
is not enough, he saith. For he would have it done with sincerity and much sympathy. For 


Homily XXV 

therefore also God made it a law that he might bring us into the bond of love. When therefore 
He demands so large a measure, and we do not render even that which is less, of what indul- 

i on 

gence shall we be worthy? 

“And how,” saith one, “did God say to Lot by the Angels, ‘Escape for thy life?’” (Gen. 
xix. 17.) Say, when, and why. When the punishment was brought near, not when there was 
an opportunity of correction but when they were condemned and incurably diseased, and 
old and young had rushed into the same passions, and henceforth they must needs be burned 
up, and in that day when the thunderbolts were about to be launched. And besides, this was 
not spoken of vice and virtue but of the chastisement inflicted by God. For what was he to 
do, tell me? Sit still and await the punishment, and without at all profiting them, be burned 
up? Nay, this were the extremest folly. 

For I do not affirm this, that one ought to bring chastisement on one’s self without dis- 
crimination and at random, apart from the will of God. But when a man tarries long in sin, 
then I bid thee push thyself forward and correct him: if thou wilt, for thy neighbor’s sake: 
but if not, at least for thine own profit. It is true, the first is the better course: but if thou 
reachest not yet unto that height, do it even for this. And let no man seek his own that he 
may find his own; and bearing in mind that neither voluntary poverty nor martyrdom, nor 
any other thing, can testify in our favor, unless we have the crowning virtue of love; let us 
preserve this beyond the rest, that through it we may also obtain all other, both present and 
promised blessings; at which may we all arrive through the grace and mercy of our Lord 
Jesus Christ; Whom be the glory world without end. Amen. 

132 [This passage and others like it show, as Neander says, that while Chrysostom was enthusiastically alive 
to the ideal of holy temper and holy living in Monachism, yet he was too deeply penetrated by the essence of 
the Gospel not to be aware that this indeed should pervade all the relations of life. C.] 


Homily XXVI 

Homily XXVI. 

1 Cor. xi. 2 

Now I praise you that ye remember me in all things, and holdfast the traditions, even as I 
delivered them to you. 

Having completed the discourse concerning the idol-sacrifices as became him, and 
having rendered it most perfect in all respects, he proceeds to another thing, which also itself 
was a complaint, but not so great a one. For that which I said before, this do I also now say, 
that he doth not set down all the heavy accusations continuously, but after disposing them 
in due order, he inserts among them the lighter matters, mitigating what the readers would 
else feel offensive in his discourse on account of his continually reproving. 

Wherefore also he set the most serious of all last, that relating to the resurrection. But 
for the present he goes to another, a lighter thing, saying, “Now I praise you that ye remember 
me in all things.” Thus when the offence is admitted, he both accuses vehemently and 
threatens: but when it is questioned, he first proves it and then rebukes. And what was ad- 
mitted, he aggravates: but what was likely to be disputed, he shows to be admitted. Their 
fornication, for instance, was a thing admitted. Wherefore there was no need to show that 
there was an offence; but in that case he proved the magnitude of the transgression, and 
conducted his discourse by way of comparison. Again, their going to law before aliens was 
an offence, but not so great a one. Wherefore he considered by the way, and proved it. The 
matter of the idol-sacrifices again was questioned. It was however, a most serious evil. 
Wherefore he both shows it to be an offence, and amplifies it by his discourse. But when he 
doeth this, he not only withdraws them from the several crimes, but invites them also to 
their contraries. Thus he said not only that one must not commit fornication, but likewise 
that one ought to exhibit great holiness. Wherefore he added, “Therefore glorify God in 
your body, and in your spirit.” (c. vi. 20.) And having said again that one ought not to be 
wise with the wisdom that is without, he is not content with this, but bids him also to “become 
a fool.” (c. iii. 18.) And where he advises them not to go to law before them that are without, 
and to do no wrong; he goeth further, and takes away even the very going to law, and 
counsels them not only to do no wrong, but even to suffer wrong, (c. vi. 7, 8.) 

And discoursing concerning the idol-sacrifices, he said not that one ought to abstain 
from things forbidden only, but also from things permitted when offence is given: and not 
only not to hurt the brethren, but not even Greeks, nor Jews. Thus, “give no occasion of 
stumbling,” saith he, “either to Jews, or to Greeks, or to the Church of God.” (c. x. 32.) 

[2.] Having finished therefore all the discourses concerning all these things, he next 
proceeds also to another accusation. And what was this? Their women used both to pray 
and prophesy unveiled and with their head bare, (for then women also used to prophesy;) 


Homily XXVI 

but the men went so far as to wear long hair as having spent their time in philosophy , 
and covered their heads when praying and prophesying, each of which was a Grecian custom. 
Since then he had already admonished them concerning these things when present, and 
some perhaps listened to him and others disobeyed; therefore in his letter also again, he fo- 
ments the place, like a physician, by his mode of addressing them, and so corrects the offence. 
For that he had heretofore admonished them in person is evident from what he begins with. 
Why else, having said nothing of this matter any where in the Epistle before, but passing 
on from other accusations, doth he straightway say, “Now I praise you that ye remember 
me in all things, and hold fast the traditions, even as I delivered them to you?” 

Thou seest that some obeyed, whom he praises; and others disobeyed, whom he corrects 
by what comes afterwards, saying, “Now if any man seem to be contentious, we have no 
such custom.” (ver. 16.) For if after some had done well but others disobeyed, he had included 
all in his accusation, he would both have made the one sort bolder, and have caused the 
others to become more remiss; whereas now by praising and approving the one, and rebuking 
the other, he both refreshes the one more effectually, and causes the other to shrink before 
him. For the accusation even by itself was such as might well wound them; but now that it 
takes place in contrast with others who have done well and are praised, it comes with a 
sharper sting. However, for the present he begins not with accusation, but with encomiums 
and great encomiums, saying, “Now I praise you that ye remember me in all things.” For 
such is the character of Paul; though it be but for small matters he weaves a web of high 
praise; nor is it for flattery that he doth so: far from it; how could he so act to whom neither 
money was desirable, nor glory, nor any other such thing? but for their salvation he orders 
all his proceedings. And this is why he amplifies the encomium, saying, “Now I praise you 
that ye remember me in all things.” 

All what things? For hitherto his discourse was only concerning their not wearing long 
hair and not covering their heads; but, as I said, he is very bountiful in his praises, rendering 
them more forward. Wherefore he saith, 

“That ye remember me in all things, and hold fast the traditions, even as I delivered 
them to you.” It appears then that he used at that time to deliver many things also not in 
writing, which he shows too in many other places. But at that time he only delivered them, 
whereas now he adds an explanation of their reason: thus both rendering the one sort, the 
obedient, more steadfast, and pulling down the others’ pride, who oppose themselves. Further, 
he doth not say, “ye have obeyed, whilst others disobeyed,” but without exciting suspicion, 
intimates it by his mode of teaching in what follows, where he saith, 

133 To let the hair and beard grow was a token of devotion to any study; as Poetry, Hor. A. P. 297; Philosophy, 
as it is told of Julian the Apostate that it was part of his affectation to let his hair and beard grow. 


Homily XXVI 

Ver. 3. “But I would have ye know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head 
of every woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” 

This is his account of the reason of the thing, and he states it to make the weaker more 
attentive. He indeed that is faithful, as he ought to be, and steadfast, doth not require any 
reason or cause of those things which are commanded him, but is content with the ordin- 
ance 134 alone. But he that is weaker, when he also learns the cause, then both retains what 
is said with more care and obeys with much readiness. 

Wherefore neither did he state the cause until he saw the commandment transgressed. 
What then is the cause? “The head of every man is Christ.” Is He then Head of the Gentile 
also? In no wise. For if “we are the Body of Christ, and severally members thereof,” (c. xii. 
27.) and in this way He is our head, He cannot be the head of them who are not in the Body 
and rank not among the members. So that when he says, “of every man,” one must under- 
stand it of the believer. Perceivest thou how every where he appeals to the hearer’s shame 
by arguing from on high? Thus both when he was discoursing on love, and when on humility, 
and when on alms-giving, it was from thence that he drew his examples. 

[3.] “But the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” Here the 
heretics rush upon us with a certain declaration of inferiority, which out of these words they 
contrive against the Son. But they stumble against themselves. For if “the man be the head 
of the woman,” and the head be of the same substance with the body, and “the head of Christ 
is God,” the Son is of the same substance with the Father. “Nay,” say they, “it is not His being 
of another substance which we intend to show from hence, but that He is under subjection.” 
What then are we to say to this? In the first place, when any thing lowly is said of him con- 
joined as He is with the Flesh, there is no disparagement of the Godhead in what is said, the 
Economy admitting the expression. However, tell me how thou intendest to prove this from 
the passage? “Why, as the man governs the wife, saith he, “so also the Father, Christ.” 
Therefore also as Christ governs the man, so likewise the Father, the Son. “For the head of 
every man,” we read, “is Christ.” And who could ever admit this? For if the superiority of 
the Son compared with us, be the measure of the Father’s compared with the Son, consider 

i or 

to what meanness thou wilt bring Him. So that we must not try all things by like measure 
in respect of ourselves and of God, though the language used concerning them be similar; 
but we must assign to God a certain appropriate excellency, and so great as belongs to God. 
For should they not grant this, many absurdities will follow. As thus; “the head of Christ is 
God:” and, “Christ is the head of the man, and he of the woman.” Therefore if we choose 
to take the term, “head,” in the like sense in all the clauses, the Son will be as far removed 
from the Father as we are from Him. Nay, and the woman will be as far removed from us 

134 rfj TtapaSoaei. 

135 e^eraateov. 


Homily XXVI 

as we are from the Word of God. And what the Son is to the Father, this both we are to the 
Son and the woman again to the man. And who will endure this? 

But dost thou understand the term “head” differently in the case of the man and the 
woman, from what thou dost in the case of Christ? Therefore in the case of the Father and 
the Son, must we understand it differently also. “How understand it differently?” saith the 
objector. According to the occasion For had Paul meant to speak of rule and subjection, 

as thou sayest, he would not have brought forward the instance of a wife, but rather of a 
slave and a master. For what if the wife be under subjection to us? it is as a wife, as free, as 
equal in honor. And the Son also, though He did become obedient to the Father, it was as 
the Son of God, it was as God. For as the obedience of the Son to the Father is greater than 
we find in men towards the authors of their being, so also His liberty is greater. Since it will 
not of course be said that the circumstances of the Son’s relation to the Father are greater 
and more intimate than among men, and of the Father’s to the Son, less. For if we admire 
the Son that He was obedient so as to come even unto death, and the death of the cross, and 
reckon this the great wonder concerning Him; we ought to admire the Father also, that He 
begat such a son, not as a slave under command, but as free, yielding obedience and giving 
counsel. For the counsellor is no slave. But again, when thou hearest of a counsellor, do not 
understand it as though the Father were in need, but that the Son hath the same honor with 
Him that begat Him. Do not therefore strain the example of the man and the woman to all 

For with us indeed the woman is reasonably subjected to the man: since equality of 
honor causeth contention. And not for this cause only, but by reason also of the deceit (1 
Tim. ii. 14.) which happened in the beginning. Wherefore you see, she was not subjected 
as soon as she was made; nor, when He brought her to the man, did either she hear any such 
thing from God, nor did the man say any such word to her: he said indeed that she was 
“bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh:” (Gen. ii. 23.) but of rule or subjection he no where 
made mention unto her. But when she made an ill use of her privilege and she who had 
been made a helper was found to be an ensnarer and ruined all, then she is justly told for 
the future, “thy turning shall be to thy husband.” (Gen. iii. 16.) 

To account for which; it was likely that this sin would have thrown our race into a state 
of warfare; (for her having been made out of him would not have contributed any thing to 
peace, when this had happened, nay, rather this very thing would have made the man even 
the harsher, that she made as she was out of him should not have spared even him who was 
a member of herself:) wherefore God, considering the malice of the Devil, raised up the 
bulwark of this word and what enmity was likely to arise from his evil device, He took away 
by means of this sentence and by the desire implanted in us: thus pulling down the partition- 

136 roairiov. 


Homily XXVI 

wall, i.e., the resentment caused by that sin of hers. But in God and in that undefiled Essence, 
one must not suppose any such thing. 

Do not therefore apply the examples to all, since elsewhere also from this source many 
grievous errors will occur. For so in the beginning of this very Epistle, he said, (1 Cor. iii. 
22, 23.) “All are yours, and ye are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” What then? Are all in like 
manner ours, as “we are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s?” In no wise, but even to the very 
simple the difference is evident, although the same expression is used of God, and Christ, 
and us. And elsewhere also having called the husband “head of the wife,” he added, (Ephes. 
v. 23.) “Even as Christ is Head and Saviour and Defender of the Church, so also ought the 
man to be of his own wife.” Are we then to understand in like manner the saying in the text, 
both this, and all that after this is written to the Ephesians concerning this subject? Far from 
it. It is impossible. For although the same words are spoken of God and of men, they do not 
have the same force in respect to God and to men, but in one way those must be understood, 
and in another these. Not however on the other hand all things diversely: since contrariwise 
they will seem to have been introduced at random and in vain, we reaping no benefit from 
them. But as we must not receive all things alike, so neither must we absolutely reject all. 

Now that what I say may become clearer, I will endeavor to make it manifest in an ex- 
ample. Christ is called “the Head of the Church.” If I am to take nothing from what is human 
in the idea, why, I would know, is the expression used at all? On the other hand, if I under- 
stand all in that way, extreme absurdity will result. For the head is of like passions with the 
body and liable to the same things. What then ought we to let go, and what to accept? We 
should let go these particulars which I have mentioned, but accept the notion of a perfect 
union, and the first principle; and not even these ideas absolutely, but here also we must 
form a notion, as we may by ourselves, of that which is too high for us and suitable to the 
Godhead: for both the union is surer and the beginning more honorable. 

Again, thou hearest the word “Son;” do not thou in this case admit all particulars; yet 
neither oughtest thou to reject all: but admitting whatever is meet for God, e.g. that He is 
of the same essence, that He is of God; the things which are incongruous and belong to human 
weakness, leave thou upon the earth. 

Again, God is called “Light.” Shall we then admit all circumstances which belong to 
natural light? In no wise. For this light yields to darkness, and is circumscribed by space, 
and is moved by another power, and is overshadowed; none of which it is lawful even to 
imagine of That Essence. We will not however reject all things on this account, but will reap 
something useful from the example. The illumination which cometh to us from God, the 
deliverance from darkness, this will be what we gather from it. 

[4.] Thus much in answer to the heretics: but we must also orderly go over the whole 
passage. For perhaps some one might here have doubt also, questioning with himself, what 


Homily XXVI 

sort of a crime it was for the woman to be uncovered, or the man covered? What sort of 
crime it is, learn now from hence. 

Symbols many and diverse have been given both to man and woman; to him of rule, to 
her of subjection: and among them this also, that she should be covered, while he hath his 
head bare. If now these be symbols you see that both err when they disturb the proper order, 
and transgress the disposition of God, and their own proper limits, both the man falling 
into the woman’s inferiority, and the woman rising up against the man by her outward ha- 

For if exchange of garments be not lawful, so that neither she should be clad with a 
cloak, nor he with a mantle or a veil: (“for the woman,” saith He, “shall not wear that which 
pertaineth to a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garments:”) much more is it 
unseemly for these (Deut. xxii. 5.) things to be interchanged. For the former indeed were 
ordained by men, even although God afterwards ratified them: but this by nature, I mean 
the being covered or uncovered. But when I say Nature, I mean God. For He it is Who created 
Nature. When therefore thou overturnest these boundaries, see how great injuries ensue. 

And tell me not this, that the error is but small. For first, it is great even of itself: being 
as it is disobedience. Next, though it were small, it became great because of the greatness of 
the things whereof it is a sign. However, that it is a great matter, is evident from its ministering 
so effectually to good order among mankind, the governor and the governed being regularly 
kept in their several places by it. 

So that he who transgresseth disturbs all things, and betrays the gifts of God, and casts 
to the ground the honor bestowed on him from above; not however the man only, but also 
the woman. For to her also it is the greatest of honors to preserve her own rank; as indeed 
of disgraces, the behavior of a rebel. Wherefore he laid it down concerning both, thus saying, 

Ver. 4. “Every man praying or prophesying having his head covered, dishonoreth his 
head. But every woman praying or prophesying with her head unveiled dishonoreth her 

For there were, as I said, both men who prophesied and women who had this gift at 
that time, as the daughters of Philip, (Acts xxi. 9.) as others before them and after them: 
concerning whom also the prophet spake of old: “your sons shall prophesy, and your 
daughters shall see visions.” (Joel ii. 28. Acts ii. 17.) 

Well then: the man he compelleth not to be always uncovered, but only when he prays. 
“For every man,” saith he, “praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoreth 
his head.” But the woman he commands to be at all times covered. Wherefore also having 
said, “Every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head unveiled, dishonoreth her 
head,” he stayed not at this point only, but also proceeded to say, “for it is one and the same 
thing as if she were shaven.” But if to be shaven is always dishonorable, it is plain too that 
being uncovered is always a reproach. And not even with this only was he content, but added 


Homily XXVI 

again, saying, “The woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head, because of the 
angels.” He signifies that not at the time of prayer only but also continually, she ought to 
be covered. But with regard to the man, it is no longer about covering but about wearing 
long hair, that he so forms his discourse. To be covered he then only forbids, when a man 
is praying; but the wearing long hair he discourages at all times. Wherefore, as touching the 
woman, he said, “But if she be not veiled, let her also be shorn;” so likewise touching the 
man, “If he have long hair, it is a dishonor unto him.” He said not, “if he be covered” but, 
“if he have long hair.” Wherefore also he said at the beginning, “Every man praying or 
prophesying, having any thing on his head, dishonoreth his head.” He said not, “covered,” 
but “having any thing on his head;” signifying that even though he pray with the head bare, 
yet if he have long hair, he is like to one covered. “For the hair,” saith he, “is given for a 

Ver. 6. “But if a woman is not veiled, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a 
woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be veiled.” 

Thus, in the beginning he simply requires that the head be not bare: but as he proceeds 
he intimates both the continuance of the rule, saying, “for it is one and the same thing as if 
she were shaven,” and the keeping of it with all care and diligence. For he said not merely 

i on 

covered, but “covered over ,” meaning that she be carefully wrapped up on every side. 
And by reducing it to an absurdity, he appeals to their shame, saying by way of severe rep- 
rimand, “but if she be not covered, let her also be shorn.” As if he had said, “If thou cast 
away the covering appointed by the law of God, cast away likewise that appointed by nature.” 

But if any say, “Nay, how can this be a shame to the woman, if she mount up to the 
glory of the man?” we might make this answer; “She doth not mount up, but rather falls 
from her own proper honor.” Since not to abide within our own limits and the laws ordained 
of God, but to go beyond, is not an addition but a diminuation. For as he that desireth other 
men’s goods and seizeth what is not his own, hath not gained any thing more, but is dimin- 
ished, having lost even that which he had, (which kind of thing also happened in paradise:) 
so likewise the woman acquireth not the man’s dignity, but loseth even the woman’s decency 
which she had. And not from hence only is her shame and reproach, but also on account 
of her covetousness. 

Having taken then what was confessedly shameful, and having said, “but if it be a shame 
for a woman to be shorn or shaven,” he states in what follows his own conclusion, saying, 
“let her be covered.” And he said not, “let her have long hair,” but, “let her be covered,” or- 
daining both these to be one, and establishing them both ways, from what was customary 
and from their contraries: in that he both affirms the covering and the hair to be one, and 
also that she again who is shaven is the same with her whose head is bare. “For it is one and 

137 ou5e yap KaXuitteaSai, aXXa KaraKaA.uTtrea0ai. 


Homily XXVI 

the same thing,” saith he, “as if she were shaven.” But if any say, “And how is it one, if this 
woman have the covering of nature, but the other who is shaven have not even this?” we 
answer, that as far as her will goes, she threw that off likewise by having the head bare. And 
if it be not bare of tresses, that is nature’s doing, not her own. So that as she who is shaven 
hath her head bare, so this woman in like manner. For this cause He left it to nature to 
provide her with a covering, that even of it she might learn this lesson and veil herself. 

Then he states also a cause, as one discoursing with those who are free: a thing which 
in many places I have remarked. What then is the cause? 

Ver. 7. “For a man indeed ought not to have his head veiled, forasmuch as he is the 
image and glory of God.” 

This is again another cause. “Not only,” so he speaks, “because he hath Christ to be His 
Head ought he not to cover the head, but because also he rules over the woman.” For the 
ruler when he comes before the king ought to have the symbol of his rule. As therefore no 
ruler without military girdle and cloak, would venture to appear before him that hath the 
diadem: so neither do thou without the symbols of thy rule, (one of which is the not being 
covered,) pray before God, lest thou insult both thyself and Him that hath honored thee. 

And the same thing likewise one may say regarding the woman. For to her also is it a 
reproach, the not having the symbols of her subjection. “But the woman is the glory of the 
man.” Therefore the rule of the man is natural. 

[5.] Then, having affirmed his point, he states again other reasons and causes also, 
leading thee to the first creation, and saying thus: 

Ver. 8. “For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man.” 

But if to be of any one, is a glory to him of whom one is, much more the being an image 
of him. 

Ver. 9. “For neither was the man created for the woman, but the woman for the man.” 
This is again a second superiority, nay, rather also a third, and a fourth, the first being, 
that Christ is the head of us, and we of the woman; a second, that we are the glory of God, 
but the woman of us; a third, that we are not of the woman, but she of us; a fourth, that we 
are not for her, but she for us. 

Ver. 10. “For this cause ought the woman to have a sign of authority on her head.” 
“For this cause:” what cause, tell me? “For all these which have been mentioned,” saith 
he; or rather not for these only, but also “because of the angels.” “For although thou despise 
thine husband,” saith he, “yet reverence the angels.” 

It follows that being covered is a mark of subjection and authority. For it induces her 
to look down and be ashamed and preserve entire her proper virtue. For the virtue and 
honor of the governed is to abide in his obedience. 

Again: the man is not compelled to do this; for he is the image of his Lord: but the woman 
is; and that reasonably. Consider then the excess of the transgression when being honored 


Homily XXVI 

with so high a prerogative, thou puttest thyself to shame, seizing the woman’s dress. And 
thou doest the same as if having received a diadem, thou shouldest cast the diadem from 
thy head, and instead of it take a slave’s garment. 

Ver. 11. “Nevertheless, neither is the man without the woman, nor the woman without 
the man, in the Lord.” 

Thus, because he had given great superiority to the man, having said that the woman 
is of him and for him and under him; that he might neither lift up the men more than was 
due nor depress the women, see how he brings in the correction, saying, “Howbeit neither 
is the man without the woman, nor the woman without the man, in the Lord.” “Examine 
not, I pray,” saith he, “the first things only, and that creation. Since if thou enquire into what 
comes after, each one of the two is the cause of the other; or rather not even thus each of 
the other, but God of all.” Wherefore he saith, “neither is the man without the woman, nor 
the woman without the man, in the Lord.” 

Ver. 12. “For as the woman is of the man, so is the man also by the woman.” 

He said not, “of the woman,” but he repeats the expression, (from v. 7.) “of the man.” 
For still this particular prerogative remains entire with the man. Yet are not these excellencies 
the property of the man, but of God. Wherefore also he adds, “but all things of God.” If 
therefore all things belong to God, and he commands these things, do thou obey and gainsay 

Ver. 13. “Judge ye in yourselves: is it seemly that a woman pray unto God veiled?” Again 
he places them as judges of the things said, which also he did respecting the idol-sacrifices. 
For as there he saith, “judge ye what I say:” (c. x. 15.) so here, “judge in yourselves:” and he 
hints something more awful here. For he says that the affront here passes on unto God: al- 
though thus indeed he doth not express himself, but in something of a milder and more 
enigmatical form of speech: “is it seemly that a woman pray unto God unveiled?” 

Ver. 14. “Doth not even nature itself teach you, that if a man have long hair, it is a dis- 
honor unto him?” 

Ver. 15. “But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given her for 
a covering.” 

His constant practice of stating commonly received reasons he adopts also in this place, 
betaking himself to the common custom, and greatly abashing those who waited to be taught 
these things from him, which even from men’s ordinary practice they might have learned. 
For such things are not unknown even to Barbarians: and see how he every where deals in 
piercing expressions: “every man praying having his head covered dishonoreth his head;” 
and again, “but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be veiled:” and 
here again, “if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him; but if a woman have long hair, 
it is a glory to her, for her hair is given her for a covering.” 


Homily XXVI 

“And if it be given her for a covering,” say you, “wherefore need she add another cover- 
ing?” That not nature only, but also her own will may have part in her acknowledgment of 
subjection. For that thou oughtest to be covered nature herself by anticipation enacted a 
law. Add now, I pray, thine own part also, that thou mayest not seem to subvert the very 
laws of nature; a proof of most insolent rashness 138 , to buffet not only with us, but with 
nature also. This is why God accusing the Jews said, (Ezek. xvi. 21, 22.) “Thou hast slain thy 

1 3Q 

sons and thy daughters: this is beyond all thy abominations.” 

And again, Paul rebuking the unclean among the Romans thus aggravates the accusation, 
saying, that their usage was not only against the law of God, but even against nature. “For 
they changed the natural use into that which is against nature.” (Rom. i. 26.) For this cause 
then here also he employs this argument signifying this very thing, both that he is not enacting 
any strange law and that among Gentiles their inventions would all be reckoned as a kind 
of novelty against nature. 140 So also Christ, implying the same, said, “Whatsoever ye would 
that men should do to you, do ye also so them;” showing that He is not introducing any 
thing new. 

Ver. 16. “But if any man seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the 
Churches of God.” 

It is then contentiousness to oppose these things, and not any exercise of reason. Not- 
withstanding, even thus it is a measured sort of rebuke which he adopts, to fill them the 
more with self-reproach; which in truth rendered his saying the more severe. “For we,” saith 
he, “have no such custom,” so as to contend and to strive and to oppose ourselves. And he 
stopped not even here, but also added, “neither the Churches of God;” signifying that they 
resist and oppose themselves to the whole world by not yielding. However, even if the Cor- 
inthians were then contentious, yet now the whole world hath both received and kept this 
law. So great is the power of the Crucified. 

[6.] But I fear lest having assumed the dress, yet in their deeds some of our women 
should be found immodest and in other ways uncovered. For therefore also writing to 
Timothy Paul was not content with these things, but added others, saying, “that they adorn 
themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or 
gold.” (1 Tim. ii. 9.) For if one ought not to have the head bare, but everywhere to carry 
about the token of authority, much more is it becoming to exhibit the same in our deeds. 
Thus at any rate the former women also used both to call their husbands lords, (1 Pet. iii. 
6.) and to yield the precedence to them. “Because they for their part,” you say, “used to love 
their own wives.” I know that as well as you: I am not ignorant of it. But when we are exhort - 

138 kaii6rr|ro<;. 

139 (35£A.UYHorra. rec. text, itopvaav. 

140 ta rrjc Kouvoropiac; aitavta rfR itapa cpuaiv. Perhaps the text is mutilated. 


Homily XXVI 

ing thee concerning thine own duties, let not theirs take all thine attention. For so, when 
we exhort children to be obedient to parents, saying, that it is written, “honor thy father and 
thy mother,” they reply to us, “mention also what follows, ‘and ye fathers, provoke not your 
children to wrath,’” (Eph. vi. 1-4.) And servants when we tell them that it is written that 
they should “obey their masters, and not serve with eye-service,” they also again demand 
of us what follows, bidding us also give the same advice to masters. For Paul bade them also, 
they saw, “to forbear threatening.” But let us not do thus nor enquire into the things enjoined 
on others, when we are charged with regard to our own: for neither will thy obtaining a 
partner in the charges free thee from the blame: but look to one thing only, how thou mayest 
rid thyself of those charges which lie against thyself. Since Adam also laid the blame on the 
woman, and she again on the serpent, but this did in no wise deliver them. Do not thou, 
therefore, for thy part, say this to me now, but be careful with all consideration to render 
what thou owest to thy husband: since also when I am discoursing with thy husband, advising 
him to love and cherish thee, I suffer him not to bring forward the law that is appointed for 
the woman, but I require of him that which is written for himself. And do thou therefore 
busy thyself with those things only which belong to thee, and show thyself tractable to thy 
consort. And accordingly if it be really for God’s sake that thou obeyest thy husband, tell 
me not of the things which ought to be done by him, but for what things thou hast been 
made responsible by the lawgiver, those perform with exactness. For this is especially to 
obey God, not to transgress the law even when suffering things contrary to it. And by the 
same rule, he that being beloved loves, is not reckoned to do any great thing. But he that 
waits upon a person who hateth him, this above all is the man to receive a crown. In the 
same manner then do thou also reckon that if thy husband give thee disgust, and thou endure 
it, thou shalt receive a glorious crown: but if he be gentle and mild, what will there be for 
God to reward in thee? And these things I say, not bidding the husbands be harsh; but per- 
suading the wives to bear even with harshness in their husbands. Since when each is careful 
to fulfil his own duty, his neighbor’s part also will quickly follow: as when the wife is prepared 
to bear even with rough behavior in the husband, and the husband refrains from abusing 
her in her angry mood; then all is a calm and a harbor free from waves. 

[7.] So also was it with those of old time. Each was employed in fulfilling his own duty, 
not in exacting that of his neighbor. Thus, if you mark it, Abraham took his brother’s son: 
his wife found no fault with him. He commanded her to travel a long journey; she spake 
not even against this but followed. Again, after those many miseries and labors and toils 
having become lord of all, he yielded the precedency to Lot. And so far from Sarah being 
offended at this, she did not even open her mouth, nor uttered any such thing as many of 
the women of these days utter, when they see their own husbands coming off inferior in 
such allotments, and especially in dealing with inferiors; reproaching them, and calling them 


Homily XXVI 

fools and senseless and unmanly and traitors and stupid. But no such thing did she say or 
think, but was pleased with all things that were done by him. 

And another thing, and that a greater: after that Lot had the choice put in his power, 
and had thrown the inferior part upon his uncle, a great danger fell upon him. 

Whereof the patriarch hearing, armed all his people, and set himself against the whole 
army of the Persians with his own domestics only, and not even then did she detain him, 
nor say, as was likely, “O man, whither goest thou, thrusting thyself down precipices, and 
exposing thyself to so great hazards; for one who wronged thee and seized on all that was 
thine, shedding thy blood? Yea, and even if thou make light of thyself, yet have pity on me 
which have left house and country and friends and kindred, and have followed thee in so 
long a pilgrimage; and involve me not in widowhood, and in the miseries of widowhood.” 
None of these things she said: she thought not of them but bore all in silence. 

After this, her womb continuing barren, she herself suffers not the grief of women nor 
laments: but he complains, though not to his wife, but to God. And see how each preserves 
his own appropriate part: for he neither despised Sarah as childless, nor reproached her 
with any such thing: and she again was anxious to devise some consolation to him for her 
childlessness by means of the handmaid. For these things had not yet been forbidden then 
as now. For now neither is it lawful for women to indulge their husbands in such things, 
nor for the men, with or without the wife’s knowledge, to form such connexions, even 
though the grief of their childlessness should infinitely harass them: since they also shall 
hear the sentence, “their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched.” For now 
it is not permitted, but then it had not been forbidden. Wherefore both his wife commanded 
this, and he obeyed, yet not even thus for pleasure’s sake. But “behold,” it will be said, “how 
he cast Hagar out again at her bidding.” Well, this is what I want to point out, that both he 
obeyed her in all things, and she him. But do not thou give heed to these things only, but 
examine, thou who urgest this plea, into what had gone before also, Hagar’s insulting her, 
her boasting herself against her mistress; than which what can be more vexatious to a free 
and honorable woman? 

[8.] Let not then the wife tarry for the virtue of the husband and then show her own, 
for this is nothing great; nor, on the other hand, the husband, for the obedience of the wife 
and then exercise self-command; for neither would this any more be his own well-doing; 
but let each, as I said, furnish his own share first. For if to the Gentiles smiting us on the 
right, we must turn the other cheek; much more ought one to bear with harsh behavior in 
a husband. 

And I say not this for a wife to be beaten; far from it: for this is the extremest affront, 
not to her that is beaten, but to him who beateth. But even if by some misfortune thou have 
such a yokefellow allotted thee, take it not ill, O woman, considering the reward which is 
laid up for such things and their praise too in this present life. And to you husbands also 


Homily XXVI 

this I say: make it a rule that there can be no such offence as to bring you under the necessity 
of striking a wife. And why say I a wife? since not even upon his handmaiden could a free 
man endure to inflict blows and lay violent hands. But if the shame be great for a man to 
beat a maidservant, much more to stretch forth the right hand against her that is free. And 
this one might see even from heathen legislatures who no longer compel her that hath been 
so treated to live with him that beat her, as being unworthy of her fellowship. For surely it 
comes of extreme lawlessness when thy partner of life, she who in the most intimate relations 
and in the highest degree, is united with thee; when she, like a base slave, is dishonored by 
thee. Wherefore also such a man, if indeed one must call him a man and not rather a wild 
beast, I should say, was like a parricide and a murderer of his mother. For if for a wife’s sake 
we were commanded to leave even father and mother, not wronging them but fulfilling a 
divine law; and a law so grateful to our parents themselves that even they, the very persons 
whom we are leaving, are thankful, and bring it about with great eagerness; what but extreme 
frenzy can it be to insult her for whose sake God bade us leave even our parents? 

But we may well ask, Is it only madness? There is the shame too: I would fain know who 
can endure it. And what description can set it before us; when shrieks and wailings are borne 
along the alleys, and there is a running to the house of him that is so disgracing himself, 
both of the neighbors and the passers by, as though some wild beast were ravaging within? 
Better were it that the earth should gape asunder for one so frantic, than that he should be 
seen at all in the forum after it. 

“But the woman is insolent,” saith he. Consider nevertheless that she is a woman, the 
weaker vessel, whereas thou art a man. For therefore wert thou ordained 141 to be ruler; and 
wert assigned to her in place of a head, that thou mightest bear with the weakness of her 
that is set under thee. Make then thy rule glorious. And glorious it will be when the subject 
of it meets with no dishonor from thee. And as the monarch will appear so much the more 
dignified, as he manifests more dignity in the officer under him; but if he dishonor and de- 
preciate the greatness of that rank, he is indirectly cutting off no small portion of his own 
glory likewise: so also thou dishonor her who governs next to thyself, wilt in no common 
degree mar the honor of thy governance. 

Considering therefore all these things, command thyself: and withal think also of that 
evening on which the father having called thee, delivered thee his daughter as a kind of de- 
posit, and having separated her from all, from her mother, from himself, from the family, 
intrusted her entire guardianship to thy right hand. Consider that (under God) through her 
thou hast children and hast become a father, and be thou also on that account gentle towards 

141 exapOTOvr|0r|<;. 


Homily XXVI 

Seest thou not the husbandmen, how the earth which hath once received the seed, they 
tend with all various methods of culture, though it have ten thousand disadvantages; e.g., 
though it be an unkindly soil or bear ill weeds, or though it be vexed with excessive rain 
through the nature of its situation? This also do thou. For thus shalt thou be first to enjoy 
both the fruit and the calm. Since thy wife is to thee both a harbor, and a potent healing 
charm to rejoice thy heart. Well then: if thou shalt free thy harbor from winds and waves, 
thou shalt enjoy much tranquility on thy return from the market-place: but if thou fill it 
with clamor and tumult, thou dost but prepare for thyself a more grievous shipwreck. In 
order then to prevent this, let what I advise be done: When any thing uncomfortable happens 
in the household, if she be in the wrong console her and do not aggravate the discomfort. 
For even if thou shouldest lose all, nothing is more grievous than to have a wife without 
good-will sharing thine abode. And whatever offence thou canst mention, thou wilt tell me 
of nothing so very painful as being at strife with her. So that if it were only for such reasons 
as these, let her love be more precious than all things. For if one another’s burdens are to 
be borne, much more our own wife’s. 

Though she be poor do not upbraid her: though she be foolish, do not trample on her, 
but train her rather: because she is a member of thee, and ye are become one flesh. “But 
she is trifling and drunken and passionate.” Thou oughtest then to grieve over these things, 
not to be angry; and to beseech God, and exhort her and give her advice, and do every thing 
to remove the evil. But if thou strike her thou dost aggravate the disease: for fierceness is 
removed by moderation, not by rival fierceness. With these things bear in mind also the 
reward from God: that when it is permitted thee to cut her off, and thou doest not so for 
the fear of God, but bearest with so great defects, fearing the law appointed in such matters 
which forbids to put away a wife whatsoever disease she may have: thou shalt receive an 
unspeakable reward. Yea, and before the reward thou shalt be a very great gainer, both 
rendering her more obedient and becoming thyself more gentle thereby. It is said, for in- 
stance, that one of the heathen philosophers 142 , who had a bad wife, a trifler and a brawler, 
when asked, “Why, having such an one, he endured her;” made reply, “That he might have 
in his house a school and training-place of philosophy. For I shall be to all the rest meeker,” 
saith he, “being here disciplined every day.” Did you utter a great shout? Why, I at this 
moment am greatly mourning, when heathens prove better lovers of wisdom than we; we 
who are commanded to imitate angels, nay rather who are commanded to follow God 
Himself in respect of gentleness. 

142 Socrates. 


Homily XXVI 

But to proceed: it is said that for this reason the philosopher having a bad wife, cast her 
not out; and some say that this very thing was the reason of his marrying her. But I, because 
many men have dispositions not exactly reasonable, advise that at first they do all they can, 
and be careful that they take a suitable partner and one full of all virtue. Should it happen, 
however, that they miss their end, and she whom they have brought into the house prove 
no good or tolerable bride, then I would have them at any rate try to be like this philosopher, 
and train her in every way, and consider nothing more important than this. Since neither 
will a merchant, until he have made a compact with his partner capable of procuring peace, 
launch the vessel into the deep, nor apply himself to the rest of the transaction. And let us 
then use every effort that she who is partner with us in the business of life and in this our 
vessel, may be kept in all peace within. For thus shall our other affairs too be all in calm, 
and with tranquility shall we run our course through the ocean of the present life. Compared 
with this, let house, and slaves, and money, and lands, and the business itself of the state, 
be less in our account. And let it be more valuable than all in our eyes that she who with us 
sits at the oars should not be in mutiny and disunion with us. For so shall our other matters 
proceed with a favoring tide, and in spiritual things also we shall find ourselves much the 
freer from hindrance, drawing this yoke with one accord; and having done all things well, 
we shall obtain the blessings laid up in store; unto which may we all attain, through the 
grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom to the Father, with the Holy Ghost, 
be glory, power, and honor, now and ever, and world without end. Amen. 


Homily XXVII 

Homily XXVII. 

1 Cor. xi. 17 

But in giving you this charge, I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for 

the worse. 

It is necessary in considering the present charge to state also first the occasion of it. For 
thus again will our discourse be more intelligible. What then is this occasion? 

As in the case of the three thousand who believed in the beginning, all had eaten their 
meals in common and had all things common; such also was the practice at the time when 
the Apostle wrote this: not such indeed exactly; but as it were a certain outflowing of that 
communion which abode among them descended also to them that came after. And because 
of course some were poor, but others rich, they laid not down all their goods in the midst, 
but made the tables open on stated days, as it should seem; and when the solemn service 143 
was completed, after the communion of the Mysteries, they all went to a common entertain- 
ment, the rich bringing their provisions with them, and the poor and destitute being invited 
by them, and all feasting in common. But afterward this custom also became corrupt. And 
the reason was, their being divided and addicting themselves, some to this party, and others 
to that, and saying, “I am of such a one,” and “I of such a one;” which thing also to correct 
he said in the beginning of the Epistle, “For it hath been signified unto me concerning you, 
my brethren, by them which are of the household of Chloe, that there are contentions among 
you. Now this I mean, that each one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of 
Cephas.” Not that Paul was the person to whom they were attaching themselves; for he 
would not have borne it: but wishing by concession to tear up this custom from the root, 
he introduced himself, indicating that if any one had inscribed upon himself even his name 
when breaking off from the common body, even so the thing done was profane and extreme 
wickedness. And if in his case it were wickedness, much more in the case of those who were 
inferior to him. 

[2.] Since therefore this custom was broken through, a custom most excellent and most 
useful; (for it was a foundation of love, and a comfort to poverty, and a corrective of riches, 
and an occasion of the highest philosophy, and an instruction of humility:) since however 
he saw so great advantages in a way to be destroyed, he naturally addresses them with 
severity, thus saying: “But in giving you this charge, I praise you not.” For in the former 
charge, as there were many who kept (the ordinances), he began otherwise, saying thus: 
“Now I praise you that ye remember me in all things:” but here contrariwise, “But in giving 

143 rr|c auva^eux;. 


Homily XXVII 

you this charge, I praise you not.” And here is the reason why he placed it not after the rebuke 
of them that eat the idol-sacrifices. But because that was unusually harsh he interposes the 
discourse about wearing of long hair, that he might not have to pass from one set of vehement 
reproofs to others again of an invidious kind and so appear too harsh: and then he returns 
to the more vehement tone, and says, “But in giving you this charge, I praise you not.” What 
is this? That which I am about to tell you of. What is, “giving you this charge, I praise you 
not?” “I do not approve you,” saith he, “because ye have reduced me to the necessity of 
giving advice: I do not praise you, because ye have required instruction in regard to this, 
because ye have need of an admonition from me.” Dost thou perceive how from his beginning 
he signifieth that what was done was very profane? For when he that errs ought not to require 
so much as a hint to prevent his erring, the error would seem to be unpardonable. 

And why dost thou not praise? Because “ye come together,” saith he, “not for the better 
but for the worse;” i.e., because ye do not go forward unto virtue. For it were meet that your 
liberality 144 should increase and become manifold, but ye have taken rather from the custom 
which already prevailed, and have so taken from it as even to need warning from me, in 
order that ye may return to the former order. 

Further, that he might not seem to say these things on account of the poor only, he doth 
not at once strike in to the discourse concerning the tables, lest he render his rebuke such 
as they might easily come to think slightly of, but he searches for an expression most con- 
founding and very fearful. For what saith he? 

Ver. 18. “For first of all, when ye come together in the Church, I hear that divisions 145 
exist among you.” 

And he saith not, “For fear that you do not sup together in common;” “for I hear that 
you feast in private, and not with the poor:” but what was most calculated thoroughly to 
shake their minds, that he set down, the name of division, which was the cause of this mischief 
also: and so he reminded them again of that which was said in the beginning of the Epistle, 
and was “signified by them of the house of Chloe.” (c. i. 11.) “And I partly believe it.” 

Thus, lest they should say, “But what if the accusers speak falsely?” he neither saith, “I 
believe it,” lest he should rather make them reckless; nor again, on the other hand, “I disbe- 
lieve it,” lest he should seem to reprove without cause, but, “I partly believe it,” saith he, i.e., 
“I believe it in a small part;” making them anxious and inviting them to return to correction. 

[3.] Ver. 19. “For there must be also factions among you, that they which are approved 
may be made manifest among you.” 

By “factions,” here he means those which concern not the doctrines, but these present 
divisions. But even if he had spoken of the doctrinal heresies, not even thus did he give them 

144 cpiA.OTi(riav. 

145 axia^ara. 


Homily XXVII 

any handle. For Christ Himself said, “it must needs be that occasions of stumbling come,” 
(Matt, xviii. 7.) not destroying the liberty of the will nor appointing any necessity and 
compulsion over man’s life, but foretelling what would certainly ensue from the evil mind 
of men; which would take place, not because of his prediction, but because the incurably 
disposed are so minded. For not because he foretold them did these things happen: but be- 
cause they were certainly about to happen, therefore he foretold them. Since, if the occasions 
of stumbling were of necessity and not of the mind of them that bring them in, it was super- 
fluous His saying, “Woe to that man by whom the occasion cometh.” But these things we 
discussed more at length when we were upon the passage itself 146 ; now we must proceed 
to what is before us. 

Now that he said these things of these factions relating to the tables, and that contention 
and division, he made manifest also from what follows. For having said, “I hear that there 
are divisions among you,” he stopped not here, but signifying what divisions he means he 
goes on to say, “each one taketh before other his own supper;” and again, “What? have ye 
not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the Church of God?” However, that of these 
he was speaking is evident. And if he call them divisions, marvel not. For, as I said, he wishes 
to touch them by the expression: whereas had they been divisions of doctrine, he would not 
have discoursed with them thus mildly. Hear him, for instance, when he speaks of any such 
thing, how vehement he is both in assertion and in reproof: in assertion, as when he says, 
“If even an angel preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be 
accursed;” (Gal. i. 8.) but in reproof, as when he says, “Whosoever of you would be justified 
by the law, ye are fallen away from grace.” (Gal. v. 4.) And at one time he calls the corrupters 
“dogs,” saying, “Beware of dogs:” (Philip, iii. 2.) at another, “having their consciences seared 
with a hot iron.” (1 Tim. iv. 2.) And again, “angels of Satan:” (2 Cor. xi. 14-15.) but here he 
said no such thing, but spoke in a gentle and subdued tone. 

But what is, “that they which are approved may be made manifest among you?” That 
they may shine the more. And what he intends to say is this, that those who are unchangeable 
and firm are so far from being at all injured hereby, but even shows them the more, and 
that it makes them more glorious. For the word, “that 147 ,” is not everywhere indicative of 
cause, but frequently also of the event of things. Thus Christ Himself uses it, when He saith, 
“For judgement I am come into this world; that they which see not may see, and that they 
which see may be made blind.” (John ix. 39.) So likewise Paul in another place, when dis- 
coursing of the law, he writes, “And the Law came in beside, that the trespass might abound.” 
(Rom. v. 20.) But neither was the law given to this end that the trespasses of the Jews might 
be increased: (though this did ensue:) nor did Christ come for this end that they which see 

146 vid. S. Chrys. on S. Matth. Horn. 59. 

147 iva. 


Homily XXVII 

might be made blind, but for the contrary; but the result was such. Thus then also here must 
one understand the expression, “that they which are approved maybe made manifest.” For 
not at all with this view came heresies into being, that “they which are approved may be 
made manifest,” but on these heresies taking place such was the result. Now these things he 
said to console the poor, those of them who nobly bore that sort of contempt. Wherefore 
he said not, “that they may become approved,” but, “that they which are approved may be 
made manifest; showing that before this also they were such, but they were mixed up with 
the multitude, and while enjoying such relief as was afforded them by the rich, they were 
not very conspicuous: but now this strife and contentiousness made them manifest, even 
as the storm shows the pilot. And he said not, “that ye may appear approved,” but, “that 
they which are approved may be made manifest, those among you who are such.” For neither 
when he is accusing doth he lay them open, that he may not render them more reckless; nor 
when praising, that he may not make them more boastful; but he leaves both this expression 
and that in suspense , allowing each man’s own conscience to make the application of 
what he saith. 

Nor doth he here seem to me to be comforting the poor only, but those also who were 
not violating the custom. For it was likely that there were among them also those that ob- 
served it. 

And this is why he said, “I partly believe it.” Justly then doth he call these “approved,” 
who not only with the rest observed the custom, but even without them kept this good law 
undisturbed. And he doth this, studying by such praises to render both others and these 
persons themselves more forward. 

[4.] Then at last he adds the very form of offence. And what is it? 

Ver. 20. “When ye assemble yourselves together,” saith he, “it is not possible to eat the 
Lord’s Supper.” 

Seest thou how effectually appealing to their shame, even already by way of narrative 
he contrives to give them his counsel? “For the appearance of your assembly,” saith he, “is 
different. It is one of love and brotherly affection. At least one place receives you all, and ye 
are together in one flock. But the Banquet, when you come to that, bears no resemblance 
to the Assembly of worshippers.” And he said not, “When ye come together, this is not to 
eat in common; “this is not to feast with one another;” but otherwise again and much more 
fearfully he reprimands them, saying, “it is not possible to eat the Lord’s Supper,” sending 
them away now from this point to that evening on which Christ delivered the awful Mysteries. 
Therefore also he called the early meal “a supper.” For that supper too had them all reclining 
at meat together: yet surely not so great was the distance between the rich and the poor as 
between the Teacher and the disciples. For that is infinite. And why say I the Teacher and 

148 eic (reretopov d<pir|ai, “sends it out into the air.” 


Homily XXVII 

the disciples? Think of the interval between the Teacher and the traitor: nevertheless, the 
Lord Himself both sat at meat with them and did not even cast him out, but both gave him 
his portion of salt and made him partaker of the Mysteries. 

Next he explains how “it is not possible to eat the Lord’s Supper.” 

Ver. 21. “For in your eating, 149 each one taketh before other his own supper,” saith he, 
“and one is hungry, and another is drunken.” 

Perceivest thou how he intimates that they were disgracing themselves rather? For that 
which is the Lord’s, they make a private matter: so that themselves are the first to suffer in- 
dignity, depriving their own table of its greatest prerogative. How and in what manner? 
Because the Lord’s Supper, i.e. the Master’s, ought to be common. For the property of the 
master belongs not to this servant without belonging to that, but in common to all. So that 
by “the Lord’s” Supper he expresses this, the “community” of the feast. As if he had said, “If 
it be thy master’s, as assuredly it is, thou oughtest not to withdraw it as private, but as be- 
longing to thy Lord and Master to set it in common before all. For this is the meaning of, 
‘the Lord’s.’ But now thou dost not suffer it to be the Lord’s, not suffering it to be common 
but feasting by thyself.” Wherefore also he goes on to say, 

“For each one taketh before other his own supper.” And he said not, “cutteth off,” but 
“taketh before,” tacitly censuring them both for greediness and for precipitancy. This at 
least the sequel also shows. For having said this, he added again, “and one is hungry, and 
another is drunken,” each of which showed a want of moderation, both the craving and the 
excess. See also a second fault again whereby those same persons are injured: the first, that 
they dishonor their supper: the second, that they are greedy and drunken; and what is yet 
worse, even when the poor are hungry. For what was intended to be set before all in common, 
that these men fed on alone, and proceeded both to surfeiting and to drunkenness. Wherefore 
neither did he say, “one is hungry, and another is filled:” but, “is drunken.” Now each of 
these, even by itself, is worthy of censure: for it is a fault to be drunken even without despising 
the poor; and to despise the poor without being drunken, is an accusation. When both then 
are joined together at the same time, consider how exceeding great is the transgression. 

Next, having pointed out their profaneness, he adds his reprimand in what follows, with 
much anger, saying, 

Ver. 22. “What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? Or despise ye the Church of 
God, and put them to shame that have not?” 

Seest thou how he transferred the charge from the indignity offered to the poor to the 
Church, that his words might make a deeper impression of disgust? Here now you see is 
yet a fourth accusation, when not the poor only, but the Church likewise is insulted. For 
even as thou makest the Lord’s Supper a private meal, so also the place again, using the 

149 £v rep cpocYav. 


Homily XXVII 

Church as a house. For it was made a Church, not that we who come together might be di- 
vided, but that they who are divided might be joined: and this act of assembling shows. 

“And put them to shame that have not.” He said not, “and kill with hunger them that 
have not,” but so as much more to put them to the blush, “shame them;” to point out that 
it is not food which he cares for so much as the wrong done unto them. Behold again a fifth 
accusation, not only to overlook the poor but even to shame them. Now this he said, partly 
as treating with reverence the concerns of the poor, and intimating that they grieve not so 
for the belly as for the shame; and partly also drawing the hearer to compassion. 

Having therefore pointed out so great impieties, indignity to the Supper, indignity to 
the Church, the contempt practised towards the poor; he relaxes again the tones of his re- 
proof, saying, all of a sudden 150 , “Shall I praise you? In this I praise you not.” Wherein one 
might especially marvel at him that when there was need to strike and chide more vehemently 
after the proof of so great offences, he doeth the contrary rather, gives way, and permits 
them to recover breath. What then may the cause be? He had touched more painfully than 
usual in aggravating the charge, and being a most excellent physician, he adapts the incision 
to the wounds, neither cutting superficially those parts which require a deep stroke; (for 
thou hast heard him how he cut off among those very persons him that had committed 
fornication;) nor delivering over to the knife those things which require the milder sort of 
remedies. For this cause then here also he conducts his address more mildly, and in another 
point of view likewise, he sought especially to render them gentle to the poor: and this is 
why he discourses with them rather in a subdued tone. 

[5.] Next, wishing also from another topic to shame them yet more, he takes again the 
points which were most essential and of them weaves his discourse. 

Ver. 23. “For I received of the Lord,” saith he, “that which also I delivered unto you: 
how that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed, took bread:” 

Ver. 24. “And when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is My 
Body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.” 

Wherefore doth he here make mention of the Mysteries? Because that argument was 
very necessary to his present purpose. As thus: “Thy Master,” saith he, “counted all worthy 
of the same Table, though it be very awful and far exceeding the dignity of all: but thou 
considerest them to be unworthy even of thine own, small and mean as we see it is; and 
while they have no advantage over thee in spiritual things, thou robbest them in the temporal 
things. For neither are these thine own.” 

However, he doth not express himself thus, to prevent his discourse becoming harsh: 
but he frames it in a gentler form, saying, that “the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was 
betrayed, took bread.” 

150 x°AS tov rovov, a0poov Aiywv. 


Homily XXVII 

And wherefore doth he remind us of the time, and of that evening, and of the betrayal? 
Not indifferently nor without some reason, but that he might exceedingly fill them with 
compunction, were it but from consideration of the time. For even if one be a very stone, 
yet when he considers that night, how He was with His disciples, “very heavy,” how He was 
betrayed, how He was bound, how He was led away, how He was judged, how He suffered 
all the rest in order, he becometh softer than wax, and is withdrawn from earth and all the 
pomp of this world. Therefore he leads us to the remembrance of all those things, by His 
time, and His table, and His betrayal, putting us to shame and saying, “Thy Master gave up 
even Himself for thee: and thou dost not even share a little meat with thy brother for thine 
own sake.” 

But how saith he, that “he received it from the Lord?” since certainly he was not present 
then but was one of the persecutors. That thou mayest know that the first table had no ad- 
vantage above that which cometh after it. For even to-day also it is He who doeth all, and 
delivereth it even as then. 

And not on this account only doth he remind us of that night, but that he may also in 
another way bring us to compunction. For as we particularly remember those words which 
we hear last from those who are departing; and to their heirs if they should venture to 
transgress their commands, when we would put them to shame we say, “Consider that this 
was the last word that your father uttered to you, and until the evening when he was just 
about to breathe his last he kept repeating these injunctions:” just so Paul, purposing hence 
also to make his argument full of awfulness; “Remember,” saith he, “that this was the last 
mysterious rite 151 He gave unto you, and in that night on which He was about to be slain 
for us, He commanded these things, and having delivered to us that Supper after that He 
added nothing further.” 

Next also he proceeds to recount the very things that were done, saying, “He took bread, 
and, when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is My Body, which is 
broken for you.” If therefore thou comest for a sacrifice of thanksgiving, 152 do thou on thy 
part nothing unworthy of that sacrifice: by no means either dishonor thy brother, or neglect 
him in his hunger; be not drunken, insult not the Church. As thou comest giving thanks 
for what thou hast enjoyed: so do thou thyself accordingly make return, and not cut thyself 
off from thy neighbor. Since Christ for His part gave equally to all, saying, “Take, eat.” He 
gave His Body equally, but dost not thou give so much as the common bread equally? Yea, 
it was indeed broken for all alike, and became the Body equally for all. 

Ver. 25. “In like manner also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the New Covenant 
in My Blood: this do, as oft as ye drink of it, in remembrance of Me.” 

151 nuaraYWYiav. 

152 euxapicrria. 


Homily XXVII 

What sayest thou? Art thou making a remembrance of Christ, and despisest thou the 
poor and tremblest not? Why, if a son or brother had died and thou wert making a remem- 
brance of him, thou wouldst have been smitten by thy conscience, hadst thou not fulfilled 
the custom and invited the poor: and when thou art making remembrance of thy Master, 
dost thou not so much as simply give a portion of the Table? 

But what is it which He saith, “This cup is the New Covenant?” Because there was also 
a cup of the Old Covenant; the libations and the blood of the brute creatures. For after sac- 
rificing, they used to receive the blood in a chalice and bowl and so pour it out. Since then 
instead of the blood of beasts He brought in His own Blood; lest any should be troubled on 
hearing this, He reminds them of that ancient sacrifice. 

[6.] Next, having spoken concerning that Supper, he connects the things present with 
the things of that time, that even as on that very evening and reclining on that very couch 
and receiving from Christ himself this sacrifice, so also now might men be affected; and he 

Ver. 26. “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye proclaim the Lord’s 
death till He come.” 

For as Christ in regard to the bread and the cup said, “Do this in remembrance of Me,” 
revealing to us the cause of the giving of the Mystery, and besides what else He said, declaring 
this to be a sufficient cause to ground our religious fear upon: — (for when thou considerest 
what thy Master hath suffered for thee, thou wilt the better deny thyself:) — so also Paul saith 
here: “as often as ye eat ye do proclaim His death.” And this is that Supper. Then intimating 
that it abides unto the end, he saith, “till He come.” 

Ver. 27. “Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread and drink the cup of the Lord un- 
worthily, shall be guilty of the Body and the Blood of the Lord.” 

Why so? Because he poured it out, and makes the thing appear a slaughter and no longer 
a sacrifice. Much therefore as they who then pierced Him, pierced Him not that they might 
drink but that they might shed His blood: so likewise doth he that cometh for it unworthily 
and reaps no profit thereby. Seest thou how fearful he makes his discourse, and inveighs 
against them very exceedingly, signifying that if they are thus to drink, they partake unwor- 
thily of the elements ? For how can it be other than unworthily when it is he who neglects 

the hungry? who besides overlooking him puts him to shame? Since if not giving to the poor 
casteth one out of the kingdom, even though one should be a virgin; or rather, not giving 
liberally: (for even those virgins too had oil, only they had it not abundantly:) consider how 
great the evil will prove, to have wrought so many impieties? 

“What impieties?” say you. Why sayest thou, what impieties? Thou hast partaken of 
such a Table and when thou oughtest to be more gentle than any and like the angels, none 

153 TWV TtpOK£l(l£VWV. 


Homily XXVII 

so cruel as thou art become. Thou hast tasted the Blood of the Lord, and not even thereupon 
dost thou acknowledge thy brother. Of what indulgence then art thou worthy? Whereas if 
even before this thou hadst not known him, thou oughtest to have come to the knowledge 
of him from the Table; but now thou dishonorest the Table itself; he having been deemed 
worthy to partake of it and thou not judging him worthy of thy meat. Hast thou not heard 
how much he suffered who demanded the hundred pence? how he made void the gift 
vouchsafed to him 154 ? Doth it not come into thy mind what thou wert and what thou hast 
become? Dost thou not put thyself in remembrance that if this man be poor in possessions, 
thou wast much more beggarly in good works, being full of ten thousand sins? Notwithstand- 
ing, God delivered thee from all those and counted thee worthy of such a Table: but thou 
art not even thus become more merciful: therefore of course nothing else remaineth but 
that thou shouldest be “delivered to the tormentors.” 

[7.] These words let us also listen to, all of us, as many as in this place approach with 
the poor to this holy Table, but when we go out, do not seem even to have seen them, but 
are both drunken and pass heedlessly by the hungry; the very things whereof the Corinthians 
were accused. And when is this done? say you. At all times indeed, but especially at the 
festivals, where above all times it ought not so to be. Is it not so, that at such times, immedi- 
ately after Communion, drunkenness succeeds and contempt of the poor? And having 
partaken of the Blood, when it were a time for thee to fast and watch, thou givest thyself up 
to wine and revelling. And yet if thou hast by chance made thy morning meal on any thing 
good, thou keepest thyself lest by any other unsavory viand thou spoil the taste of the former: 
and now that thou hast been feasting on the Spirit thou bringest in a satanical luxury. Con- 
sider, when the Apostles partook of that holy Supper, what they did: did they not betake 
themselves to prayers and singing of hymns? to sacred vigils? to that long work of teaching, 
so full of all self-denial? For then He related and delivered to them those great and wonderful 
things, when Judas had gone out to call them who were about to crucify Him. Hast thou 
not heard how the three thousand also who partook of the Communion continued even in 
prayer and teaching, not in drunken feasts and revellings? But thou before thou hast partaken 
fastest, that in a certain way thou mayest appear worthy of the Communion: but when thou 
hast partaken, and thou oughtest to increase thy temperance, thou undoest all. And yet 
surely it is not the same to fast before this and after it. Since although it is our duty to be 
temperate at both times, yet most particularly after we have received the Bridegroom. Before, 
that thou mayest become worthy of receiving: after, that thou mayest not be found unworthy 
of what thou hast received. 

“What then? ought we to fast after receiving?” I say not this, neither do I use any com- 
pulsion. This indeed were well: however, I do not enforce this, but I exhort you not to feast 

154 e^evexSeToav, perhaps “officially declared.” 


Homily XXVII 

to excess. For if one never ought to live luxuriously, and Paul showed this when he said, 
“she that giveth herself to pleasure is dead while she liveth” (1 Tim. v. 6.); much more will 
she then be dead. And if luxury be death to a woman, much more to a man: and if this done 
at another time is fatal, much more after the communion of the Mysteries. And dost thou 
having taken the bread of life, do an action of death and not shudder? Knowest thou not 
how great evils are brought in by luxury? Unseasonable laughter, disorderly expressions, 
buffoonery fraught with perdition, unprofitable trifling, all the other things, which it is not 
seemly even to name. And these things thou doest when thou hast enjoyed the Table of 
Christ, on that day on which thou hast been counted worthy to touch His flesh with thy 
tongue. What then is to be done to prevent these things? Purify thy right hand, thy tongue, 
thy lips, which have become a threshold for Christ to tread upon. Consider the time in which 
thou didst draw near and set forth a material table, raise thy mind to that Table, to the 
Supper of the Lord, to the vigil of the disciples, in that night, that holy night. Nay, rather 
should one accurately examine, this very present state is night. Let us watch then with the 
Lord, let us be pricked in our hearts with the disciples. It is the season of prayers, not of 
drunkenness; ever indeed, but especially during a festival. For a festival is therefore appointed, 
not that we may behave ourselves unseemly, not that we may accumulate sins, but rather 
that we may blot out those which exist. 

I know, indeed, that I say these things in vain, yet will I not cease to say them. For if ye 
do not all obey, yet surely ye will not all disobey; or rather, even though ye should all be 
disobedient, my reward will be greater, though yours will be more condemnation. However, 
that it may not be more, to this end I will not cease to speak. For perchance, perchance, by 
my perseverance I shall be able to reach you. 

Wherefore I beseech you that we do not this to condemnation; let us nourish Christ, 
let us give Him drink, let us clothe Him. These things are worthy of that Table. Hast thou 
heard holy hymns? Hast thou seen a spiritual marriage? Hast thou enjoyed a royal Table? 
Hast thou been filled with the Holy Ghost? Hast thou joined in the choir of the Seraphim? 
Hast thou become partaker of the powers above? Cast not away so great a joy, waste not the 
treasure, bring not in drunkenness, the mother of dejection, the joy of the devil, the parent 
of ten thousand evils. For hence is a sleep like unto death, and heaviness of head, and disease, 
and obliviousness, and an image of dead men’s condition. Further, if thou wouldst not 
choose to meet with a friend when intoxicated, when thou hast Christ within, durst thou, 
tell me, to thrust in upon Him so great an excess? 

But dost thou love enjoyment? Then, on this very account cease being drunken. For I, 
too, would have thee enjoy thyself, but with the real enjoyment, that which never fadeth. 
What then is the real enjoyment, ever blooming? Invite Christ to sup 155 (Rev. ii. 20.) with 

155 eitapiarov. 


Homily XXVII 

thee; give Him to partake of thine, or rather of His own. This bringeth pleasure without 
limit, and in its prime everlastingly. But the things of sense are not such; rather as soon as 
they appear they vanish away; and he that hath enjoyed them will be in no better condition 
than he who hath not, or rather in a worse. For the one is settled as it were in a harbor, but 
the other exposes himself to a kind of torrent, a besieging army of distempers, and hath not 
even any power to endure the first swell of the sea . 156 

That these things be therefore not so, let us follow after moderation. For thus we shall 
both be in a good state of body, and we shall possess our souls in security, and shall be de- 
livered from evils both present and future: from which may we all be delivered, and attain 
unto the kingdom, through the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom to 
the Father, together with the Holy Spirit, be glory, power, and honor, now and ever, and 
world without end. Amen. 

156 rrjv <jaAr|v raurr|v. 


Homily XXVIII 

Homily XXVIII. 

1 Cor. xi. 28 

But let a man prove himself, and so let him eat of the bread, and drink of the cup. 

What mean these words, when another object is proposed to us? This is Paul’s custom, 
as also I said before, not only to treat of those things which he had proposed to himself, but 
also if an argument incidental to his purpose occur, to proceed upon this also with great 
diligence, and especially when it relates to very necessary and urgent matters. Thus, when 
he was discoursing with married persons, and the question about the servants fell in his 
way, he handled it very strenuously and at great length. Again, when he was speaking of the 
duty of not going to law before those courts, then also having fallen upon the admonition 
respecting covetousness, he discoursed at length concerning this subject likewise. Now the 
same thing he hath also done here: in that having once found occasion to remind them of 
the Mysteries, he judged it necessary to proceed with that subject. For indeed it was no or- 
dinary one. Wherefore also he discoursed very awfully concerning it, providing for that 
which is the sum of all good things, viz. their approaching those Mysteries with a pure 
conscience. Whence neither was he content with the things said before alone, but adds these 
also, saying, 

“But let a man prove himself:” which also he saith in the second Epistle: “try your own 
selves, prove your own selves:” (2 Cor. xiii. 5.) not as we do now, approaching because of 
the season rather than from any earnestness of mind. For we do not consider how we may 
approach prepared, with the ills that were within us purged out, and full of compunction, 
but how we may come at festivals and whenever all do so. But not thus did Paul bid us come: 
he knoweth only one season of access and communion, the purity of a man’s conscience. 
Since if even that kind of banquet which the senses take cognizance of cannot be partaken 
of by us when feverish and full of bad humors, without risk of perishing: much more is it 
unlawful for us to touch this Table with profane lusts, which are more grievous than fevers. 
Now when I say profane lusts, I mean both those of the body, and of money, and of anger, 
and of malice, and, in a word, all that are profane. And it becomes him that approacheth, 
first to empty himself of all these things and so to touch that pure sacrifice. And neither if 
indolently disposed and reluctantly ought he to be compelled to approach by reason of the 
festival; nor, on the other hand, if penitent and prepared, should any one prevent him because 
it is not a festival. For a festival is a showing forth of good works, and a reverence of soul, 
and exactness of deportment. And if thou hast these things, thou mayest at all times keep 
festival and at all times approach. Wherefore he saith, “But let each man prove himself, and 
then let him approach.” And he bids not one examine another, but each himself, making 
the tribunal not a public one and the conviction without a witness. 


Homily XXVIII 

[2.] Ver. 29. “For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment 
to himself.” 

What sayest thou, tell me? Is this Table which is the cause of so many blessings and 
teeming with life, become judgment? Not from its own nature, saith he, but from the will 
of him that approaches. For as His presence, which conveyed to us those great and unutterable 
blessings, condemned the more them that received it not: so also the Mysteries become 

i rn 

provisions of greater punishment to such as partake unworthily. 

But why doth he eat judgment to himself? “Not discerning the Lord’s body:” i.e., not 
searching, not bearing in mind, as he ought, the greatness of the things set before him; not 
estimating the weight of the gift. For if thou shouldest come to know accurately Who it is 
that lies before thee, and Who He is that gives Himself, and to whom, thou wilt need no 
other argument, but this is enough for thee to use all vigilance; unless thou shouldest be al- 
together fallen. 

Ver. 30. “For this cause many among you are weak and sickly, and not a few sleep.” 

Here he no longer brings his examples from others as he did in the case of the idol- 
sacrifices, relating the ancient histories and the chastisements in the wilderness, but from 
the Corinthians themselves; which also made the discourse apt to strike them more keenly. 
For whereas he was saying, “he eateth judgment to himself,” and, “he is guilty;” that he might 
not seem to speak mere words, he points to deeds also and calls themselves to witness; a 
kind of thing which comes home to men more than threatening, by showing that the threat 
has issued in some real fact. He was not however content with these things alone, but from 
these he also introduced and confirmed the argument concerning hell-fire, terrifying them 
in both ways; and solving an inquiry which is handled everywhere. I mean, since many 
question one with another, “whence arise the untimely deaths, whence the long diseases of 
men;” he tells them that these unexpected events are many of them conditional upon certain 
sins. “What then? They who are in continual health,” say you, “and come to a green old 
age, do they not sin?” Nay, who durst say this? “How then,” say you, “do they not suffer 
punishment?” Because there they shall suffer a severer one. But we, if we would, neither 
here nor there need suffer it. 

Ver. 31. “For if we discerned ourselves,” saith he, “we should not be judged.” 

And he said not, “if we punished ourselves, if we were revenged on ourselves,” but if 
we were only willing to acknowledge our offence, to pass sentence on ourselves, to condemn 
the things done amiss, we should be rid of the punishment both in this world and the next. 
For he that condemns himself propitiates God in two ways, both by acknowledging his sins, 
and by being more on his guard for the future. But since we are not willing to do even this 
light thing, as we ought to do it, not even thus doth He endure to punish us with the world, 

157 ecpoSia, viatica. 


Homily XXVIII 

but even thus spareth us, exacting punishment in this world, where the penalty is for a season 
and the consolation great; for the result is both deliverance from sins, and a good hope of 
things to come, alleviating the present evils. And these things he saith, at the same time 
comforting the sick and rendering the rest more serious. Wherefore he saith, 

Ver. 32. “But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord.” 

He said not, we are punished, he said not, we have vengeance taken on us, but, “we are 
chastened.” For what is done belongs rather to admonition than condemnation, to healing 
than vengeance, to correction than punishment. And not so only but by the threat of a 
greater evil he makes the present light, saying, “that we may not be condemned with the 
world.” Seest thou how he brings in hell also and that tremendous judgment-seat, and sig- 
nifies that that trial and punishment is necessary and by all means must be? for if the faithful, 
and such as God especially cares for, escape not without punishment in whatsoever things 
they offend, (and this is evident from things present,) much more the unbelieving and they 
who commit the unpardonable and incurable sins. 

[3.] Ver. 33. “Wherefore when ye come together to eat, wait one for another.” 

Thus, while their fear was yet at its height and the terror of hell remained, he chooses 
again to bring in also the exhortation in behalf of the poor, on account of which he said all 
these things; implying that if they do not this they must partake unworthily. But if the not 
imparting of our goods excludes from that Table, much more the violently taking away. 
And he said not, “wherefore, when ye come together, impart to them that need,” but, which 
has a more reverential sound, “wait one for another.” For this also prepared the way for and 
intimated that, and in a becoming form introduced the exhortation. Then further to shame 

Ver. 34. “And if any man is hungry, let him eat at home.” 

By permitting, he hinders it, and more strongly than by an absolute prohibition. For he 
brings him out of the church and sends him to his house, hereby severely reprimanding and 
ridiculing them, as slaves to the belly and unable to contain themselves. For he said not, “if 
any despise the poor,” but, “if any hunger,” discoursing as with impatient children; as with 
brute beasts which are slaves to appetite. Since it would be indeed very ridiculous, if, because 
they were hungry they were to eat at home. 

Yet he was not content with this, but added also another more fearful thing, saying, 
“that your coming together be not unto judgment:” that ye come not unto chastisement, 
unto punishment, insulting the Church, dishonoring your brother. “For for this cause ye 
come together,” saith he, “that ye may love one another, that ye may profit and be profited. 
But if the contrary happen, it were better for you to feed yourselves at home.” 

This, however, he said, that he might attract them to him the more. Yea, this was the 
very purpose both of his pointing out the injury that would arise from hence, and of his 


Homily XXVIII 

saying that condemnation was no trifling one, and terrifying them in every way, by the 
Mysteries, by the sick, by those that had died, by the other things before mentioned. 

Then also he alarms them again in another way, saying, “and the rest will I set in order 
whensoever I come:” with reference either to some other things, or to this very matter. For 
since it was likely that they would yet have some reasons to allege, and it was not possible 
to set all to rights by letter, “the things which I have charged you, let them be observed for 
the present,” saith he; “but if ye have any thing else to mention, let it be kept for my coming;” 
speaking either of this matter, as I said, or of some other things not very urgent. And this 
he doth that hence too he may render them more serious. For being anxious about his 
coming, they would correct the error. For the sojourning of Paul in anyplace was no ordinary 
thing: and to signify this he said, “some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you;” 
(1 Cor. iv. 18.) and elsewhere again, “not as in my presence only, but now much more in 
my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philip, ii. 12.) And 
therefore neither did he merely promise that he would come, lest they should disbelieve 
him and become more negligent; but he also states a necessary cause for his sojourning with 
them, saying, “the rest I will set in order when I come; which implies, that the correction of 
the things that remained, even had he not in any case been desirous, would have drawn him 

[4.] Hearing therefore all these things, let us both take great care of the poor, and restrain 
our appetite, and rid ourselves of drunkenness, and be careful worthily to partake of the 
Mysteries; and whatsoever we suffer, let us not take it bitterly, neither for ourselves nor for 
others; as when untimely death happen or long diseases. For this is deliverance from pun- 
ishment, this is correction, this is most excellent admonition. Who saith this? He that hath 
Christ speaking in him. 

But nevertheless even after this many of our women are so foolishly disposed as even 

i co 

to go beyond the unbelievers in the excess of their grief . And some do this blinded by 
their passion, but others for ostentation, and to avoid the censures of them that are without: 
who most of all are deprived of excuse, to my mind. For, “lest such a one accuse me,” saith 
she, “let God be my accuser: lest men more senseless than the brute beasts condemn me, let 
the law of the King of all be trampled under foot.” Why, how many thunderbolts do not 
these sayings deserve? 

Again; If any one invite you to a funeral supper 159 after your affliction there is no one 
to say any thing against it, because there is a law of men which enjoins such things: but when 
God by His law forbids your mourning, all thus contradict it. Doth not Job come into thy 

158 For the sentiments of Christian antiquity about mourning at funerals, see S. Cyprian, De Mortalitate , c. 
15, 16. 

159 TteptSeiTtvov. 


Homily XXVIII 

mind, O woman? Rememberest thou not his words at the misfortune of his children, which 
adorned that holy head more than ten thousand crowns, and made proclamation louder 
than many trumpets? Dost thou make no account of the greatness of his misfortunes, of 
that unprecedented shipwreck, and that strange and portentous tragedy? For thou possibly 
hast lost one, or a second, or third: but he so many sons and daughters: and he that had 
many children suddenly became childless. And not even by degrees were his bowels wasted 
away: but at one sweep all the fruit of his body was snatched from him. Nor was it by the 
common law of nature, when they had come to old age, but by a death both untimely and 
violent: and all together, and when he was not present nor sitting by them, that at least by 
hearing their last words he might have some consolation for so bitter an end of theirs: but 
contrary to all expectation and without his knowing any thing of what took place, they were 
all at once overwhelmed, and their house became their grave and their snare. 

And not only their untimely death, but many things besides there were to grieve him; 
such as their being all in the flower of their age, all virtuous and loving, all together, that 
not one of either sex was left, that it befel them not by the common law of nature, that it 
came after so great a loss, that when he was unconscious of any sin on his own part or on 
theirs, he suffered these things. For each of these circumstances is enough even by itself to 
disturb the mind: but when we find them even concurring together, imagine the height of 
those waves, how great the excess of that storm. And what in particular is greater and worse 
than his bereavement, he did not even know wherefore all these things happened. On this 
account then, having no cause to assign for the misfortune, he ascends to the good pleasure 
of God, and saith, “The Lord gave, the Lord hath taken away:” as it pleased the Lord, even 
so it happened; “blessed be the name of the Lord for ever.” (Job ii. 21.) And these things he 
said, when he saw himself who had followed after all virtue in the last extremity; but evil 
men and impostors, prospering, luxurious, revelling on all sides. And he uttered no such 
word as it is likely that some of the weaker sort would have uttered, “Was it for this that I 
brought up my children and trained them with all exactness? For this did I open my house 
to all that passed by, that after those many courses run in behalf of the needy, the naked, 
the orphans, I might receive this recompense?” But instead of these, he offered up those 
words better than all sacrifice, saying, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked 
shall I return thither.” If however he rent his clothes and shaved his head, marvel not. For 
he was a father and a loving father: and it was meet that both the compassion of his nature 
should be shown, and also the self-command of his spirit. Whereas, had he not done this, 
perhaps one would have thought this self-command to be of mere insensibility. Therefore 
he indicates both his natural affection and the exactness of his piety, and in his grief he was 
not overthrown. 

[5.] Yea, and when his trial proceeded further, he is again adorned with other crowns 
on account of his reply to his wife, saying, “If we have received good at the hand of the Lord, 


Homily XXVIII 

shall we not endure evil?” (Job ii. 10.) For in fact his wife was by this time the only one left, 
all his having been clean destroyed, both his children and his possessions and his very body, 
and she reserved to tempt and to ensnare him. And this indeed was the reason why the 
devil did not destroy her with the children, nor asked her death, because he expected that 
she would contribute much towards the ensnaring of that holy man. Therefore he left her 
as a kind of implement, and a formidable one, for himself. “For if even out of paradise,” 
saith he, “I cast mankind by her means, much more shall I be able to trip him up on the 

And observe his craft. He did not apply this stratagem when the oxen or the asses or 
the camels were lost, nor even when the house fell and the children were buried under it, 
but so long looking on the combatant, he suffers her to be silent and quiet. But when the 
fountain of worms gushed forth, when the skin began to putrify and drop off, and the flesh 
wasting away to emit most offensive discharge, and the hand of the devil was wearing him 
out with sharper pain than gridirons and furnaces and any flame, consuming on every side 
and eating away his body more grievously than any wild beast, and when a long time had 
been spent in this misery 160 ; then he brings her to him, seasoned and worn down. Whereas 
if she had approached him at the beginning of his misfortune, neither would she have found 
him so unnerved, nor would she have had it in her power so to swell out and exaggerate the 
misfortune by her words. But now when she saw him through the length of time thirsting 
for release, and desiring the termination of what pressed on him vehemently then doth she 
come upon him. For to show that he was quite worn down, and by this time had become 
unable even to draw breath, yea, and desired even to die, hear what he saith; “For I would 
I could lay hands on myself, or could request another and he should do it for me;” And ob- 
serve, I pray, the wickedness of his wife, from what topic she at once begins: namely, from 
the length of time, saying, “How long wilt thou hold out 161 ?” 

160 The LXX begin Job ii. 9. with, “After a long time had passed.” 

161 Job ii. 9. where, according to the LXX, the speech of Job’s wife stands as follows: “How long wilt thou be 
patient, saying, Lo, let me endure yet a little while, awaiting the hope of my salvation? For behold, thy memorial 
is vanished from the earth, even sons and daughters, the throes and labors of my womb, for whom I have 
wearied myself in vain with toils: and thou thyself in corruption of worms sittest all night in the open air, while 
I am a wanderer and a servant, from place to place, and from house to house, awaiting the sun when it will set, 
that I may rest from my labors and the pains which now straiten me: but say some word against the Lord, and 


Homily XXVIII 

Now, if often even when there were no realities words alone have prevailed to unman 
a person, consider what it was likely he then should feel, when, besides these words, the 
things themselves also were galling him; and what, as it should seem, was worst of all, it was 
a wife also who spake thus, and a wife who had sunk down utterly and was giving herself 
up, and on this account was seeking to cast him also into desperation. However, that we 
may see more clearly the engine which was brought against that adamantine wall, let us 
listen to the very words. What then are these? “How long wilt thou hold out? saying, Lo! I 
wait a short time longer, expecting the hope of my salvation.” “Nay,” saith she, “the time 
hath exposed the folly of thy words, while it is protracted, yet shows no mode of escape.” 
And these things she said, not only thrusting him into desperation, but also reproaching 
and jesting upon him. 

For he, ever consoling her as she pressed upon him, and putting her off, would speak 
as follows: “Wait a little longer, and there will soon be an end of these things.” Reproaching 
him therefore, she speaks: “Wilt thou now again say the same thing? For a long time hath 
now run by, and no end of these things hath appeared.” And observe her malice, that she 
makes no mention of the oxen, the sheep or the camels, as knowing that he was not very 
much vexed about these; but she goes at once to nature, and reminds him of his children. 
For on their death she saw him both rending his clothes and shaving off his hair. And she 
said not, “thy children are dead,” but very pathetically, “thy memorial is perished from the 
earth,” “the thing for which thy children were desirable.” For if, even now after that the re- 
surrection hath been made known children are longed for because they preserve the memory 
of the departed; much more then. Wherefore also her curse becomes from that consideration 
more bitter. For in that case, he that cursed, said not, “Let his children be utterly rooted 
out,” but, “his memorial from the earth.” “Thy sons and thy daughters.” Thus whereas she 
said, “the memorial,” she again accurately makes mention of either sex. “But if thou,” saith 
she, “carest not for these, at least consider what is mine.” “The pains of my womb, and labors 
which I have endured in vain with sorrow.” Now what she means is this: “I, who endured 
the more, am wronged for thy sake, and having undergone the toils I am deprived of the 

And see how she neither makes express mention of his loss of property, nor is silent 
about it and hurries by; but in that point of view in which it also might be most pathetically 
narrated, in that she covertly refers to it. For when she says, “I too am a vagabond and a 
slave, going about from place to place, from house to house,” she both hints at the loss and 
indicates her great distress: these expressions being such as even to enhance that misfortune. 
“For I come to the doors of others,” saith she; “nor do I beg only, but am a wanderer also 
and serve a strange and unusual servitude, going round everywhere and carrying about the 
tokens of my calamity, and teaching all men of my woes;” which is most piteous of all, to 
change house after house. And she stayed not even at these lamentations, but proceeded to 


Homily XXVIII 

say, “Waiting for the sun when it will set, and I shall rest from my miseries and the pains 
that encompass me, by which I am now straitened.” “Thus, that which is sweet to others,” 
saith she, “to behold the light, this to me is grievous: but the night and the darkness is a de- 
sirable thing. For this only gives me rest from my toils, this becometh a comfort to my 
miseries. But speak somewhat against the Lord, and die.” Perceivest thou here too her crafty 
wickedness? how she did not even in the act of advising at once introduce the deadly 
counsel, but having first pitifully related her misfortunes and having drawn out the tragedy 
at length, she couches in a few words what she would recommend, and doth not even declare 
it plainly, but throwing a shade over that, she holds out to him the deliverance which he 
greatly longed for, and promises death, the thing which he then most of all desired. 

And mark from this also the malice of the devil: that because he knew the longing of 
Job towards God, he suffers not his wife to accuse God, lest he should at once turn away 
from her as an enemy. For this cause she no where mentions Him, but the actual calamities 
she is continually harping on. 

And do thou, besides what has been said, add the circumstance that it was a woman 
who gave this counsel, a wonderful orator to beguile the heedless. Many at least even without 
external accidents have been cast down by the counsel of woman alone. 

[6.] What then did the blessed saint, and firmer than adamant? Looking bitterly upon 
her, by his aspect even before he spake, he repelled her devices: since she no doubt expected 
to excite fountains of tears; but he became fiercer than a lion, full of wrath and indignation, 
not on account of his sufferings, but on account of her diabolical suggestions; and having 
signified his anger by his looks in a subdued tone he gives his rebuke; for even in misfortune 
he kept his self-command. And what saith he? “Why speakest thou as one of the foolish 
women?” “I have not so taught thee,” saith he, “I did not so nurture thee; and this is why I 
do not now recognize even mine own consort. For these words are the counsel of a ‘foolish 
woman,’ and of one beside herself.” Seest thou not here an instance of wounding in moder- 
ation, and inflicting a blow just sufficient to cure the disease? 

Then, after the infliction, he brings in advice sufficient on the other hand to console 
her, and very rational, thus speaking: “if we have received our good things at the hand of 
the Lord, shall we not endure our evils?” “For remember,” saith he, “those former things 
and make account of the Author of them, and thou wilt bear even these nobly.” Seest thou 
the modesty of the man? that he doth not at all impute his patience to his own courage, but 
saith it was part of the natural result of what happened. “For in return for what did God 
give us these former things? What recompense did he repay? None, but from mere goodness. 
For they were a gift, not a recompense; a grace, not a reward. Well then, let us bear these 
also nobly.” 

This discourse let us, both men and women, have recorded, and let us engrave the words 
in our minds, both these and those before them: and by sketching upon our minds as in 


Homily XXVIII 

picture the history of their sufferings , 162 I mean the loss of wealth, the bereavement of 
children, the disease of body, the reproaches, the mockings, the devices of his wife, the snare 
of the devil, in a word, all the calamities of that righteous man, and that with exactness, let 
us provide ourselves with a most ample port of refuge: that, enduring all things nobly and 
thankfully, we may both in the present life cast off all despondency, and receive the rewards 
that belong to this good way of taking things; by the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, with Whom to the Father, with the Holy Ghost, be glory, power, and honor, now 
and forever, world without end. Amen. 

162 JtaSrmdrcov Savile: (ia0r|TU>v Bened. 

163 rfjc eucprmiac raurric, “this way of using well-omened words. 


Homily XXIX 

Homily XXIX. 

1 Cor. xii. 1, 2 

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Ye know that when 

ye were Gentiles, ye were led away unto those dumb idols, howsoever ye might be led. 

This whole place is very obscure: but the obscurity is produced by our ignorance of the 
facts referred to and by their cessation, being such as then used to occur but now no longer 
take place. And why do they not happen now? Why look now, the cause too of the obscurity 
hath produced us again another question: namely, why did they then happen, and now do 
so no more? 

This however let us defer to another time, but for the present let us state what things 
were occurring then. Well: what did happen then? Whoever was baptized he straightway 
spake with tongues and not with tongues only, but many also prophesied, and some also 
performed many other wonderful works. For since on their coming over from idols, without 
any clear knowledge or training in the ancient Scriptures, they at once on their baptism re- 
ceived the Spirit, yet the Spirit they saw not, for It is invisible; therefore God’s grace bestowed 
some sensible proof of that energy. And one straightway spake in the Persian, another in 
the Roman, another in the Indian, another in some other such tongue: and this made 
manifest to them that were without that it is the Spirit in the very person speaking. Wherefore 
also he so calls it, saying, “But to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given to profit 
withal;” (v. 7.) calling the gifts “a manifestation of the Spirit.” For as the Apostles themselves 
had received this sign first, so also the faithful went on receiving it, I mean, the gift of tongues; 
yet not this only but also many others: inasmuch as many used even to raise the dead and 
to cast out devils and to perform many other such wonders: and they had gifts too, some 
less, and some more. But more abundant than all was the gift of tongues among them: and 
this became to them a cause of division; not from its own nature but from the perverseness 
of them that had received it: in that on the one hand the possessors of the greater gifts were 
lifted up against them that had the lesser: and these again were grieved, and envied the 
owners of the greater. And Paul himself as he proceeds intimates this. 

Since then herefrom they were receiving a fatal blow in the dissolution of their charity, 
he takes great care to correct it. For this happened indeed in Rome also, but not in the same 
way. And this is why in the Epistle to the Romans he moots it indeed, but obscurely and 
briefly, saying thus: “For even as we have many members in one body, and all the members 
have not the same office; so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and severally members 
one of another. And having gifts differing according to the grace that was given to us, 
whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of our faith; or ministry, let 
us give ourselves to our ministry; or he that teacheth to his teaching.” (Rom. xii. 4-8.) And 


Homily XXIX 

that the Romans also were falling into wilfulness hereby, this he intimates in the beginning 
of that discourse, thus saying: “Fori say through the grace given unto me, to every man that 
is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but so to think 
as to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to each man a measure of faith.” (Rom. xii. 
3.) With these, however, (for the disease of division and pride had not proceeded to any 
length,) he thus discoursed: but here with great anxiety; for the distemper had greatly spread. 

And this was not the only thing to disturb them, but there were also in the place many 
soothsayers, inasmuch as the city was more than usually addicted to Grecian customs, and 
this with the rest was tending to offence and disturbance among them. This is the reason 
why he begins by first stating the difference between soothsaying and prophecy. For this 
cause also they received discerning of spirits, so as to discern and know which is he that 
speaketh by a pure spirit, and which by an impure. 

For because it was not possible to supply the evidence of the things uttered from within 
themselves at the moment; (for prophecy supplies the proof of its own truth not at the time 
when it is spoken, but at the time of the event;) and it was not easy to distinguish the true 
prophesier from the pretender; (for the devil himself, accursed as he is, had entered into 
them that prophesied, [See 1 Kings xxii. 23.] bringing in false prophets, as if forsooth they 
also could foretell things to come;) and further, men were easily deceived, because the things 
spoken could not for the present be brought to trial, ere yet the events had come to pass 
concerning which the prophecy was; (for it was the end that proved the false prophet and 
the true:) — in order that the hearers might not be deceived before the end, he gives them a 
sign which even before the event served to indicate the one and the other. And hence taking 
his order and beginning, he thus goes on also to the discourse concerning the gifts and 
corrects the contentiousness that arose from hence likewise. For the present however he 
begins the discourse concerning the soothsayers, thus saying, 

[2.] “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant;” calling 
the signs “spiritual,” because they are the works of the Spirit alone, human effort contributing 
nothing to the working such wonders. And intending to discourse concerning them, first, 
as I said, he lays down the difference between soothsaying and prophecy, thus saying, 

“Ye know that when ye were Gentiles, ye were led away 164 unto those dumb idols, 
howsoever ye might be led.” Now what he means is this: “In the idol- temples,” saith he, “if 
any were at any time possessed by an unclean spirit and began to divine, even as one dragged 
away, so was he drawn by that spirit in chains: knowing nothing of the things which he 
utters. For this is peculiar to the soothsayer, to be beside himself, to be under compulsion, 
to be pushed, to be dragged, to be haled as a madman. But the prophet not so, but with sober 
mind and composed temper and knowing what he is saying, he uttereth all things. Therefore 

164 dnayopevot, properly “dragged to prison or execution.” 


Homily XXIX 

even before the event do thou from this distinguish the soothsayer and the prophet. And 
consider how he frees his discourse of all suspicion; calling themselves to witness who had 
made trial of the matter. As if he had said, “that I lie not nor rashly traduce the religion of 
the Gentiles, feigning like an enemy, do ye yourselves bear me witness: knowing as ye do, 
when ye were Gentiles, how ye were pulled and dragged away then.” 

But if any should say that these too are suspected as believers, come, even from them 
that are without will I make this manifest to you. Hear, for example, Plato saying thus: (Apol. 
Soc. c. 7.) “Even as they who deliver oracles and the soothsayers say many and excellent 
things, but know nothing of what they utter.” Hear again another, a poet, giving the same 
intimation. For whereas by certain mystical rites and witchcrafts a certain person had im- 
prisoned a demon in a man, and the man divined, and in his divination was thrown down 
and torn, and was unable to endure the violence of the demon, but was on the point of 
perishing in that convulsion; he saith to the persons who were practicing such mystical 
arts, 165 

Loose me, I pray you: 

The mighty God no longer mortal flesh 
Can hold. 

And again, 

Unbind my wreaths, and bathe my feet in drops 
From the pure stream; erase these mystic lines, 166 
And let me go. 

For these and such like things, (for one might mention many more,) point out to us 
both of these facts which follow; the compulsion which holds down the demons and makes 
them slaves; and the violence to which they submit who have once given themselves up to 
them, so as to swerve even from their natural reason. And the Pythoness too : (for I am 
compelled now to bring forward and expose another disgraceful custom of theirs, which it 
were well to pass by, because it is unseemly for us to mention such things; but that you may 
more clearly know their shame it is necessary to mention it, that hence at least ye may come 
to know the madness and exceeding mockery of those that make use of the soothsayers:) 

165 These verses are taken from an old Oracle, quoted among others by Porphyry in a Treatise of the Philosophy 
of Oracles, and from him again by Theodoret, on the Remedies for Gentile Errors, Disp. x. t. iv. p. 957. 

166 Porphyry’s note on this verse, as quoted by Hales from Eusebius (Evang. Prtep. v.) in Savile’s Chrysostom, 
viii. pt. ii. p. 278, is as follows: “You see, he bids them erase the lines that he may depart: as though these detained 
him, and not only these, but the other things too about their apparel: because they wore certain portraitures of 
the deities who were invoked.” 

167 See Strabo, ix. 5. 


Homily XXIX 

this same Pythoness then is said, being a female, to sit at times upon the tripod of Apollo 
astride, and thus the evil spirit ascending from beneath and entering the lower part of her 
body, fills the woman with madness, and she with dishevelled hair begins to play the bac- 
chanal and to foam at the mouth, and thus being in a frenzy to utter the words of her mad- 
ness. I know that you are ashamed and blush when you hear these things: but they glory 
both in the disgrace and in the madness which I have described. These then and all such 
things. Paul was bringing forward when he said, “Ye know that when ye were Gentiles, ye 
were led away unto those dumb idols, howsoever ye might be led.” 

And because he was discoursing with those who knew well, he states not all things with 
exact care, not wishing to be troublesome to them, but having reminded them only and 
brought all into their recollection, he soon quits the point, hastening to the subject before 

But what is, “unto those dumb idols?” These soothsayers used to be led and dragged 
unto them. 

But if they be themselves dumb, how did they give responses to others? And wherefore 
did the demon lead them to the images? As men taken in war, and in chains, and rendering 
at the same time his deceit plausible. Thus, to keep men from the notion that it was just a 
dumb stone, they were earnest to rivet the people to the idols that their own style and title 
might be inscribed upon them. But our rites are not such. He did not however state ours, I 
mean the prophesyings. For it was well known to them all, and prophecy was exercised 
among them, as was meet for their condition, with understanding and with entire freedom. 
Therefore, you see, they had power either to speak or to refrain from speaking. For they 
were not bound by necessity, but were honored with a privilege. For this cause Jonah fled; 
(Jonah i. 3.) for this cause Ezekiel delayed; (Ezek. iii. 15.) for this cause Jeremiah excused 
himself. (Jer. i. 6.) And God thrusts them not on by compulsion, but advising, exhorting, 
threatening; not darkening their mind; for to cause distraction and madness and great 
darkness, is the proper work of a demon: but it is God’s work to illuminate and with consid- 
eration to teach things needful. 

[3.] This then is the first difference between a soothsayer and a prophet; but a second 
and a different one is that which he next states, saying, 

Ver. 3. “Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking in the Spirit of God 
calleth Jesus accursed:” and then another: “and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, 
but in the Holy Ghost.” 

“When thou seest,” saith he, “any one not uttering His name, or anathematizing Him, 
he is a soothsayer. Again, when thou seest another speaking all things with His Name, un- 
derstand that he is spiritual.” “What then,” say you, “must we say concerning the Catechu- 
mens? For if, no man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost, what must we 


Homily XXIX 

say of them who name indeed His Name, but are destitute of His Spirit ? But his discourse 
at this time was not concerning these for there were not at that time Catechumens, but 
concerning believers and unbelievers. What then, doth no demon call upon God’s Name? 
Did not the demoniacs say, “We know Thee who Thou art, the Holy One of God? (Mark i. 
24.) Did they not say to Paul, “these men are the servants of the Most High God? (Acts xvi. 
17.) They did, but upon scourging, upon compulsion; never of their own will and without 
being scourged. 

But here it is proper to enquire, both why the demon uttered these things and why Paul 
rebuked him. In imitation of his Teacher; for so Christ did also rebuke: since it was not his 
will to have testimony from them. And wherefore did the devil also practise this? Intending 
to confound the order of things, and to seize upon the dignity of the Apostles, and to persuade 
many to pay attention to them 169 : which had it happened, they would easily have made 
themselves appear from hence worthy of credit, and have brought in their own designs. 
That these things then might not be, and the deceit might not have a beginning, he stops 
their mouths even when speaking the truth, so that in their falsehoods men should not at 
all give heed unto them, but stop their ears altogether against the things said by them. 

[4.] Having therefore made manifest the soothsayers and the prophets both by the first 
sign and also by the second, he next discourses of the wonders; not passing without reason 
to this topic, but so as to remove the dissension which had thence arisen, and to persuade 
both those that had the less portion not to grieve and those who had the greater not to be 
elated. Wherefore also he thus began. 

Ver. 4. “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.” 

And first he attends on him that had the lesser gift, and was grieved on this account. 
“For wherefore,” saith he, “art thou dejected? because thou hast not received as much as 
another? Still, consider that it is a free gift and not a debt, and thou wilt be able to soothe 
thy pain.” For this cause he spake thus in the very beginning: “but there are diversities of 
gifts.” And he said not “of signs,” nor “of wonders,” but of “gifts,” by the name of free gifts 
prevailing on them not only not to grieve but even to be thankful. “And withal consider this 
also,” saith he, “that even if thou art made inferior in the measure of what is given; in that 
it hath been vouchsafed thee to receive from the same source as the other who hath received 
more, thou hast equal honor. For certainly thou canst not say that the Spirit bestowed the 
gift on him, but an angel on thee: since the Spirit bestowed it both on thee and him. 
Wherefore he added, “but the same Spirit.” So that even if there be a difference in the gift, 

168 So St. Austin, Tract 11. on St. John: “Inasmuch as the Catechumens have the sign of the Cross in their 
forehead, they now belong to the Great House: but let them from servants become sons;” alluding to Gal. iv. 6, 
7; ap. Bingham, i. 3. 3. 

169 Sav. in marg. reads autou;. Bened. aura). 


Homily XXIX 

yet is there no difference in the Giver. For from the same Fountain ye are drawing, both 
thou and he. 

Ver. 5. “And there are diversities of ministrations, but the same Lord.” 

Thus, enriching the consolation, he adds mention of the Son also, and of the Father. 
And again, he calls these gifts by another name, designing by this also an increase of consol- 
ation. Wherefore also he thus said: “there are diversities of ministrations, but the same 
Lord.” For he that hears of “a gift,” and hath received a less share, perhaps might grieve; but 
when we speak of “a ministration,” the case is different. For the thing implies labor and 
sweat. “Why grievest thou then,” saith he, “if he hath bidden another labor more, sparing 

Ver. 6. “And there are diversities of workings, but the same God who worketh all things 
in all.” 

Ver. 7. “But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit to profit withal.” 

“And what,” saith one, “is a working?” and what “a gift?” and what “a ministration?” 
They are mere differences of names, since the things are the same. For what “a gift” is, that 
is “a ministration,” that he calls “an operation” also. Thus fulfil thy ministry; (2 Tim. iv. 5. 
ministry.) and, “I magnify my ministration:” (Rom. xi. 13. office.) and writing to Timothy, 
he says, “Therefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in 
thee. (2 Tim. i. 6.) And again, writing to the Galatians, he said, “for he that wrought in Peter 
to the Apostleship, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles. (Gal. ii. 8.) Seest thou 
that he implies that there is no difference in the gifts of the Father, and the Son, and the 
Holy Ghost? Not confounding the Persons, God forbid! but declaring the equal honor 
of the Essence. For that which the Spirit bestows, this he saith that God also works; this, that 
the Son likewise ordains and grants. Yet surely if the one were inferior to the other, or the 
other to it, he would not have thus set it down nor would this have been his way of consoling 
the person who was vexed. 

[5.] Now after this, he comforts him also in another kind of way; by the consideration 
that the measure vouchsafed is profitable to him, even though it be not so large. For having 
said, that it is “the same Spirit,” and “the same Lord,” and “the same God,” and having 
thereby recovered him, he brings in again another consolation, thus saying, “but to each 
one is given the manifestation of the Spirit to profit withal.” For lest one should say, “what 
if there be the same Lord, the same Spirit, the same God? yet I have received less:” he saith, 
that thus it was profitable. 

But he calls miracles a “manifestation of the Spirit,” with evident reason. For to me who 
am a believer, he that hath the Spirit is manifest from his having been baptized: but to the 
unbeliever this will in no wise be manifest, except from the miracles: so that hence also again 

170 tck; unoardaeu; auvaAHcpwv. 


Homily XXIX 

there is no small consolation. For though there be a difference of gifts, yet the evidence is 
one: since whether thou hast much or little, thou art equally manifest. So that if thou desirest 
to show this, that thou hast the Spirit, thou hast a sufficient demonstration. 

Wherefore, now that both the Giver is one and the thing given a pure favor, and the 
manifestation takes place thereby, and this is more profitable for thee; grieve not as if des- 
pised. For not to dishonor thee hath God done it, nor to declare thee inferior to another, 
but to spare thee and with a view to thy welfare. To receive more than one has ability to 
bear, this rather is unprofitable, and injurious, and a fit cause of dejection. 

Ver. 8. “For to one is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word 
of knowledge according to the same Spirit;” 

Ver. 9. “To another, faith in the same Spirit; to another gifts of healing in the one Spirit.” 

Seest thou how he every where makes this addition, saying, “through the same Spirit, 
and according to the same Spirit?” For he knew that the comfort from thence was great. 

Ver. 10. “To another working ofmiracles; to another prophecies; to another discernings 
of spirits; to another divers kind of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues.” 

Thus, since they boasted themselves in this, therefore he placed it last, and added, 

Ver. 11. “But all these worketh one and the same Spirit.” 

The universal medicine in which his consolation consists is that out of the same root, 
out of the same treasures, out of the same streams, they all receive. And accordingly, from 
time to time dwelling on this expression, he levels the apparent inequality, and consoles 
them. And above indeed he points out both the Spirit, and the Son, and the Father, as sup- 
plying the gifts, but here he was content to make the Spirit, that even hence again thou 
mayest understand their dignity to be the same. 

But what is “the word of wisdom?” That which Paul had, which John had, the son of 

And what is “the word of knowledge?” That which most of the faithful had, possessing 
indeed knowledge, but not thereupon able to teach nor easily to convey to another what 
they knew. 

“And to another, faith:” not meaning by this faith the faith of doctrines, but the faith of 
miracles; concerning which Christ saith, “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard-seed, ye shall 
say to this mountain, Remove, and it shall remove.” (S. Matt. xvii. 20.) And the Apostles 
too concerning this besought Him, saying, “Increase our faith:” (S. Luke xvii. 5.) for this is 
the mother of the miracles. But to possess the power of working miracles and gifts of healing, 
is not the same thing: for he that had a gift of healing used only to do cures: but he that 
possessed powers for working miracles used to punish also. For a miracle is not the healing 
only, but the punishing also: even as Paul inflicted blindness: as Peter slew. 

“To another prophecies; and to another discernings of spirits.” What is, “discernings 
of spirits?” the knowing who is spiritual, and who is not: who is a prophet, and who a deceiver: 


Homily XXIX 

as he said to the Thessalonians, “despise not prophesyings:” (1 Thess. v. 20, 21.) but prov- 
ing all things, hold fast that which is good.” For great was at that time the rush of the 
false prophets, the devil striving underhand to substitute falsehood for the truth. “To another 
divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues.” For one person knew 
what he spake himself, but was unable to interpret to another; while another had acquired 
both these or the other of the two. Now this seemed to be a great gift because both the 
Apostles received it first, and the most among the Corinthians had obtained it. But the word 
of teaching not so. Wherefore that he places first, but this last: for this was on account of 
that, and so indeed were all the rest; both prophecies, and working of miracles, and divers 
kinds of tongues, and interpretation of tongues. For none is equal to this. Wherefore also 
he said, “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they 
who labor in the word and in teaching.” (1 Tim. v. 17.) And to Timothy he wrote, saying, 
“Give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to teaching; neglect not the gift that is in thee.” 
(1 Tim. iv. 13, 14.) Seest thou how he calls it also a gift? 

[6.] Next, the comfort which he before gave, when he said, “the same Spirit,” this also 
he here sets before us, saying, “But all these worketh the one and the same Spirit, dividing 
to each one severally even as he will.” And he not only gives consolation but also stops the 
mouth of the gainsayer, saying here, “dividing to each one severally even as he will.” For it 
was necessary to bind up also, not to heal only, as he doth also in the Epistle to the Romans, 

when he saith, “But who art thou that repliest against God? (Rom. ix. 20.) So likewise here, 
“dividing to each one severally as he will.” 

And that which was of the Father, this he signifieth to be of the Spirit also. For as con- 
cerning the Father, he saith, “but it is the same God who worketh all things in all;” so also 
concerning the Spirit, “but all these things worketh one and the same Spirit.” But, 174 it will 
be said, “He doth it, actuated by God.” Nay, he no where said this, but thou feignest it. For 
when he saith, “who actuateth all things in all,” he saith this concerning men: thou wilt 
hardly say that among those men he numbers also the Spirit, though thou shouldst be ever 
so manifold in thy doting and madness. For because he had said “through the Spirit,” that 
thou mightest not suppose this word, “through,” to denote inferiority or the being actuated, 
he adds, that “the Spirit worketh,” not “is worked,” and worketh “as he will,” not as he 

171 SoKijid^ovrec;; rec. text SoKipcRete. 

172 Savile reads Stacpopa, “variety.” 

173 £Tuarucpeiv. 

174 In this and other places of this Homily, S. Chrysostom seems to have had in view the controversy, then 
recent, with the Macedonians, who denied the Divinity of the Holy Spirit. 

175 evepywv “worketh.” 

176 evepyel, ouk euepyelTcn. 


Homily XXIX 

is bidden. For as concerning the Father, the Son saith that “He raiseth up the dead and 
quickeneth;” in like manner also, concerning Himself, that “He quickeneth whom He will:” 
(S. John v. 21.) thus also of the Spirit, in another place, that He doeth all things with authority 
and that there is nothing that hinders Him; (for the expression, “bloweth where it listeth” 
[S. John iii. 8,] though it be spoken of the wind is apt to establish this;) but here, that “He 
worketh all things as He will.” And from another place to learn that He is not one of the 
things actuated, but of those that actuate. “For who knoweth,” says he, “the things of a man, 
but the spirit of the man? even so the things of God none knoweth save the Spirit of God.” 
(1 Cor. ii. 11.) Now that “the spirit of a man,” i.e., the soul, requires not to be actuated that 
it may know the things of itself, is, I suppose, evident to every one. Therefore neither doth 
the Holy Ghost, that he may “know the things of God.” For his meaning is like this, “the 
secret things of God” are known to the Holy Spirit as to the soul of man the secret things 
of herself.” But if this be not actuated for that end, much less would That which knoweth 
the depths of God and needs no actuation for that knowledge, require any actuating Power 
in order to the giving gifts to the Apostles. 

But besides these things, that also, which I before spake of, I will mention again now. 
What then is this? That if the Spirit were inferior and of another substance, there would 
have been no avail in his consolation, nor in our hearing the words, “of the same Spirit.” 
For he who hath received from the king, I grant, may find it a very soothing circumstance, 
that he himself gave to him; but if it be from the slave, he is then rather vexed, when one 
reproaches him with it. So that even hence is it evident, that the Holy Spirit is not of the 
substance of the servant, but of the King. 

[7.] Wherefore as he comforted them, when he said, that “there are diversities of minis- 
trations, but the same Lord; and diversities of operations, but the same God;” so also when 
he said above, “there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit;” and after this again when 
he said, “But all these worketh the one and the same Spirit, dividing to every man severally 
as he will.” 

“Let us not, I pray you, be at a loss,” saith he; “neither let us grieve, saying, ‘Why have 
I received this and not received that?’ neither let us demand an account of the Holy Spirit. 
For if thou knowest that he vouchsafed it from providential care, consider that from the 
same care he hath given also the measure of it, and be content and rejoice in what thou hast 
received: but murmur not at what thou hast not received; yea, rather confess God’s favor 
that thou hast not received things beyond thy power.” 

[5.] And if in spiritual things one ought not to be over-curious, much more in temporal 
things; but to be quiet and not nicely enquire why one is rich and another poor. For, first 
of all, not every single rich man is rich from God, but many even of unrighteousness, and 
rapine, and avarice. For he that forbade to be rich, how can he have granted that which he 
forbade to receive? 


Homily XXIX 

But that I may, far above what the case requires, stop the mouths of those who concerning 
these things gainsay us, come, let us carry our discourse higher up, to the time when riches 
used to be given by God; and answer me. Wherefore was Abraham rich whereas Jacob 
wanted even bread? Were not both the one and the other righteous? Doth He not say con- 
cerning the three alike, “I am the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob?” (Exod. iii. 
6.) Wherefore then was the one a rich man, and the other a hired servant? Or rather, why 
was Esau rich, who was unrighteous and a murderer of his brother, while Jacob was in 
bondage for so long a time? Wherefore again did Isaac live in ease all his time, but Jacob in 
toils and miseries? For which cause also he said, “Few and evil are my days.” (Gen. xlvii. 

Wherefore did David, who was both a prophet and a king, himself also live all his time 
in toils? whereas Solomon his son spent forty years in security above all men, in the enjoy- 
ment of profound peace, glory, and honor, and going through every kind of deliciousness? 
What again could be the reason, that among the prophets also one was afflicted more, and 
another less? Because so it was expedient for each. Wherefore upon each our remark must 
be, “Thy judgments are a great deep.” (Ps. xxxvi. 6.) For if those great and wonderful men 
were not alike exercised by God, but one by poverty, and another by riches; one by ease, 
and another by trouble; much more ought we now to bear these things in mind. 

[8.] But besides this, it becomes one to consider also that many of the things which 
happen do not take place according to His mind, but arise from our wickedness. Say not 
then, “Why is one man rich who is wicked, and another poor who is righteous?” For first 
of all, one may give an account of these things also, and say that neither doth the righteous 
receive any harm from his poverty, nay, even a greater addition of honor; and that the bad 
man in his riches possesseth but a store of punishment on his future road, unless he be 
changed: and, even before punishment, often-times his riches become to him the cause of 
many evils, and lead him into ten thousand pitfalls. But God permits it, at the same to signify 
the free choice of the will, and also to teach all others not to be mad nor rave after money. 

“How is it then, when a man being wicked is rich, and suffers nothing dreadful?” say 
you. “Since if being good he hath wealth, he hath it justly: but if bad, what shall we say?” 
That even therein he is to be pitied. For wealth added to wickedness aggravates the mischief. 
But is he a good man, and poor? Yet is he nothing injured. Is he then a bad man, and poor? 
This is he so justly and by desert, or rather even with advantage to himself. “But such an 
one,” say you, “received his riches from his ancestors and lavishes it upon harlots and 
parasites, and suffers no evil.” What sayest thou? Doth he commit whoredom, and sayest 
thou, “he suffers no evils?” Is he drunken, and thinkest thou that he is in luxury? Doth he 
spend for no good, and judgest thou that he is to be envied? Nay what can be worse than 
this wealth which destroys the very soul? But thou, if the body were distorted and maimed, 
wouldest say that his was a case for great lamentation; and seest thou his whole soul mutilated, 


Homily XXIX 

yet countest him even happy? “But he doth not perceive it,” say you. Well then, for this very 
reason again is he to be pitied, as all frantic persons are. For he that knows he is sick will of 
course both seek the physician and submit to remedies; but he that is ignorant of it will have 
no chance at all of deliverance. Dost thou call such an one happy, tell me? 

But it is no marvel: for the more part are ignorant of the true love of wisdom. Therefore 
do we suffer the extremest penalty, being chastised and not even withdrawing ourselves 
from the punishment. For this cause are angers, dejections, and continual tumults; because 
when God hath shown us a life without sorrow, the life of virtue, we leave this and mark 
out another way, the way of riches and money, full of infinite evils. And we do the same, as 
if one, not knowing how to discern the beauty of men’s bodies but attributing the whole to 
the clothes and the ornaments worn, when he saw a handsome woman and possessed of 
natural beauty, should pass quickly by her, but when he beheld one ugly, ill-shaped, and 
deformed, but clothed in beautiful garments, should take her for his wife. Now also in some 
such way are the multitude affected about virtue and vice. They admit the one that is de- 
formed by nature on account of her external ornaments, but turn away from her that is fair 
and lovely, on account of her unadorned beauty, for which cause they ought especially to 
choose her. 

[9.] Therefore am I ashamed that among the foolish heathen there are those that practise 
this philosophy, if not in deeds, yet so far at least as judgment goes; and who know the per- 
ishable nature of things present: whereas amongst us some do not even understand these 
things, but have their very judgment corrupted: and this while the Scripture is ever and 
anon sounding in our ears, and saying, “In his sight the vile person is contemned, but he 

i nn 

honoreth them that fear the Lord: (Ps. xv. 4.) the fear of the Lord excelleth every thing ; 
fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole of man: (Eccles. xii. 13;) be 
not thou envious of evil men; (Ps. xlix. 16;) all flesh is grass, and all the glory of man as the 
flower of grass;” (Is. xl. 7.) For these and such-like things though we hear every day, we are 
yet nailed to earth. And as ignorant children, who learn their letters continuously, if they 
be examined concerning their order when they are disarranged, naming one instead of an- 
other, make much laughter: so also ye, when here we recount them in order, follow us in a 
manner; but when we ask you out of doors and in no set order, what we ought to place first 
and what next among things, and which after which; not knowing how to answer, ye become 
ridiculous. Is it not a matter of great laughter, tell me, that they who expect immortality and 
the good “things which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart 
of man,” should strive about things which linger here and count them enviable? For if thou 
hast need yet to learn these things that riches are no great thing, that things present are a 
shadow and a dream, that like smoke they are dissolved and fly away: stand for the present 

177 Or, the love of the Lord. Sirach xxv. 14. 


Homily XXIX 

without the sanctuary: abide in the vestibule: since thou art not yet worthy of the entrance 
to the palace-courts on high. For if thou knowest not to discern their nature which is unstable 
and continually passing away, when wilt thou be able to despise them? 

But if thou say thou knowest, cease curiously to inquire and busy thyself, what can be 
the reason why such an one is rich and such an one poor: for thou doest the same when 
thou askest these questions, as if thou didst go round and enquire, why one is fair and an- 
other black, or one hook-nosed and another flat-nosed. For as these things make no difference 
to us, whether it be thus or thus; so neither poverty nor riches, and much less than they. But 
the whole depends upon the way in which we use them. Whether thou art poor, thou mayest 
live cheerfully denying thyself; or rich, thou art most miserable of all men if thou fliest from 
virtue. For these are what really concern us, the things of virtue. And if these things be not 
added, the rest are useless. For this cause also are those continual questions, because the 
most think that indifferent things are of importance to them, but of the important things 
they make no account: since that which is of importance to us is virtue and love of wisdom. 

Because then ye stand I know not where, at some far distance from her, therefore is 
there confusion of thoughts, therefore the many waves, therefore the tempest. For when 
men have fallen from heavenly glory and the love of heaven, they desire present glory and 
become slaves and captives. “And how is it that we desire this,” say you? From the not greatly 
desiring that. And this very thing, whence happens it? From negligence. And whence the 
negligence? From contempt. And whence the contempt? From folly and cleaving to things 
present and unwillingness to investigate accurately the nature of things. And whence again 
doth this latter arise? From the neither giving heed to the reading of the Scripture nor con- 
versing with holy men, and from following the assemblies of the wicked. 

That this therefore may not always be so, and lest wave after wave receiving us should 
carry us out into the deep of miseries and altogether drown and destroy us; while there is 
time, let us bear up and standing upon the rock, I mean of the divine doctrines and words, 
let us look down upon the surge of this present life. For thus shall we both ourselves escape 
the same, and having drawn up others who are making shipwreck, we shall obtain the 
blessings which are to come, through the grace and mercy, Sec. 


Homily XXX 

Homily XXX. 

1 Cor. xii. 12 

For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of the body, being many, 
are one body; so also is Christ. 

After soothing them from the considerations that the thing given was of free favor; that 
they received all from “one and the self-same Spirit;” that it was given “to profit withal,” 
that even by the lesser gifts a manifestation was made; and withal having also stopped their 
mouth from the duty of yielding to the authority of the Spirit: (“for all these,” saith he, 
“worketh the one and the same Spirit, dividing to each one severally even as he will;” 
wherefore it is not right to be over-curious:) he proceeds now to soothe them in like manner 
from another common example, and betakes himself to nature itself, as was his use to do. 

For when he was discoursing about the hair of men and women, after all the rest he 
drew matter thence also to correct them, saying, “Doth not even nature itself teach you that 
if a man have long hair, it is a dishonor to him? but if a woman have long hair, it is a glory 
to her?” (1 Cor. xi. 14, 15.) And when he spake concerning the idol-sacrifices, forbidding 
to touch them, he drew an argument from the examples also of them that are without, both 
making mention of the Olympic games, where he saith, “they which run in a race run all, 
but one receiveth the prize:” ( 1 Cor. ix. 24.) and confirming these views from shepherds and 
soldiers and husbandmen. Wherefore he brings forward here also a common example by 
which he presses on and fights hard to prove that no one was really put in a worse condition: 
a thing which was marvellous and surprising to be able to show, and calculated to refresh 
the weaker sort, I mean, the example of the body. For nothing so consoles the person of 
small spirit and inferior gifts, or so persuades him not to grieve, as the being convinced that 
he is not left with less than his share. Wherefore also Paul making out this point, thus ex- 
presses himself: “for as the body is one and hath many members.” 

Seest thou his exact consideration? He is pointing out the same thing to be both one 
and many. Wherefore also he adds, pressing the point more vigorously, “and all the members 
of the one body, being many, are one body.” He said not, “being many, are of one body,” 
but “the one body itself is many:” and those many members are this one thing. If therefore 
the one is many, and the many are one, where is the difference? where the superiority? where 
the disadvantage? For all, saith he, are one: and not simply one, but being strictly considered 
in respect of that even which is principal, i.e., their being a body, they are found all to be 
one: but when considered as to their particular natures, then the difference comes out, and 
the difference is in all alike. For none of them by itself can make a body, but each is alike 
deficient in the making a body, and there is need of a coming together since when the many 


Homily XXX 

become one, then and not till then is there one body. Wherefore also covertly intimating 
this very thing, he said, “And all the members of the one body, being many, are one body.” 
And he said not, “the superior and the inferior,” but “being many,” which is common to 

And how is it possible that they should be one? When throwing out the difference of 
the members, thou considerest the body. For the same thing which the eye is, this also is 
the foot in regard of its being a member and constituting a body. For there is no difference 
in this respect. Nor canst thou say that one of the members makes a body of itself, but an- 
other does not. For they are all equal in this, for the very reason that they are all one body. 

But having said this and having shown it clearly from the common judgment of all, he 
added, “so also is Christ.” And when he should have said, “so also is the Church,” for this 
was the natural consequent he doth not say it but instead of it places the name of Christ, 
carrying the discourse up on high and appealing more and more to the hearer’s reverence. 
But his meaning is this: “So also is the body of Christ, which is the Church.” For as the body 
and the head are one man, so he said that the Church and Christ are one. Wherefore also 

he placed Christ instead of the Church, giving that name to His body. “As then,” saith he, 
“our body is one thing though it be composed of many: so also in the Church we all are one 
thing. For though the Church be composed of many members, yet these many form one 

[2.] Thus having, you see, recovered and raised up by this common example him who 
thought himself depreciated, again he leaves the topic of common experience, and comes 
to another, a spiritual one, bringing greater consolation and indicative of great equality of 
honor. What then is this? 

Ver. 13. “For in one Spirit, saith he, were we all baptized into one body, whether Jews 
or Greeks, whether bond or free.” 

Now his meaning is this: that which established us to become one body and regenerated 
us, is one Spirit: for not in one Spirit was one baptized, and another another. And not only 
is that which hath baptized us one, but also that unto which He baptized us, i.e., for 

1 SO 

which He baptized us, is one. For we were baptized not that so many several bodies might 

178 [The author seems here to imply that the Apostle speaks of Christ simply as the head of the church, the 
same view which Meyer advocates. It is better to consider the expression as denoting the analogy of the body 
to Christ, since it is one body yet has many members. Christ is the personal subject, the “Ego” whose body is 
the church. “Christus non localiter, sed mystice et virtualiter, sive operative et per efflcentiam, est corpus, hypo- 
stasis, anima et spiritus totius Ecclesiae.” (Cor. a Lap.) Principal Edwards says that the Apostle’s meaning if ex- 
pressed in modern phrase would run thus: “As the Person is one while the members of his body are many, so 
also Christ is one but the members of his mystical body, the church, are many.” C.] 

179 etc; 6— ecp ci>. 

180 etc; 6— ecp w. 


Homily XXX 

be formed, but that we might all preserve one with another the perfect nature of one body: 
i.e., that we might all be one body, into the same were we baptized. 

So that both He who formed it is one, and that into which He formed it is one. And he 
said not, “that we might all come to be of the same body;” but, “that we might all be one 
body.” For he ever strives to use the more expressive phrases. And well said he, “we all,” 
adding also himself. “For not even I, the Apostle, have any more than thou in this respect,” 
saith he. “For thou art the body even as I, and I even as thou, and we have all the same Head 


and have passed through the same birth-pains. Wherefore we are also the same body.” 
“And why speak I,” saith he, “of the Jews? since even the Gentiles who were so far off from 
us, He hath brought into the entireness of one body.” Wherefore having said, “we all,” he 
stopped not here, but added, “whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free.” Now if, having 
before been so far off, we were united and have become one, much more after that we have 
become one, we can have no right to grieve and be dejected. Yea, the difference, in fact, hath 
no place. For if to Greeks and Jews, to bond and free, He hath vouchsafed the same blessings, 
how can it be that after so vouchsafing He divides them, now that He hath bestowed a 
greater perfection of unity by the supply of His gifts? 

“And were all made to drink of one Spirit.” 

Ver. 14. “For the body is not one member, but many.” 

i.e., We are come to the same initiation, we enjoy the same Table. And why said he not, 
“we are nourished by the same body and drink the same blood?” Because by saying “Spirit,” 
he declared them both, as well the flesh as the blood. For through both are we “made to 
drink of the Spirit.” 

But to me he appears now to speak of that visitation of the Spirit which takes place in 
us after Baptism and before the Mysteries. And he said, “We were made to drink,” because 
this metaphorical speech suited him extremely well for his proposed subject: as if he had 
said respecting plants and a garden, that by the same fountain all the trees are watered, or 
by the same water; so also here, “we all drank the same Spirit, we enjoyed the same grace,” 
saith he. 

If now one Spirit both formed us and gathered us all together into one body; for this is 
the meaning of, “we were baptized into one body:” and vouchsafed us one table, and gave 
us all the same watering, (for this is the meaning of, “we were made to drink into one Spir- 
it ,”) and united persons so widely separated; and if many things then become a body 
when they are made one: why, I pray, art thou continually tossing to and from their differ- 

181 eAvaapev. 

182 [The phrase here “drink into one Spirit” differs from that used in the citation above, where we read “drink 
of one Spirit.” The difference exists in the Greek original. Chrysostom quotes what is now considered to be the 
correct text, omitting the preposition, but writes afterward, inserting it. There is unusual obscurity in his treatment 


Homily XXX 

ence? But if thou sayest, “Because there are many members and diverse,” know that this 
very thing is the wonder and the peculiar excellency of the body, when the things which are 
many and diverse make one. But if they were not many, it were not so wonderful and incred- 
ible that they should be one body; nay, rather they would not be a body at all. 

[3.] This however he states last; but for the present he goes to the members themselves, 
saying thus: 

Ver. 15. “If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it 
therefore not of the body?” 

Ver. 16. “And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it 
therefore not of the body?” 

For if the one being made inferior and the other superior, doth not allow their being of 
the body, the whole is done away. Do not say therefore, “I am not the body, because I am 
inferior.” For the foot also hath the inferior post, yet is it of the body: for the being or not 
being part of the body, is not from the one lying in this place and the other in that; (which 
is what constitutes difference of place;) but from the being conjoined or separated. For the 
being or not being a body, arises from the having been made one or not. But do thou, I pray, 
mark his considerate way, how he applies their words to our members. For as he said above, 
“These things have I in a figure transferred to myself and Apollos,” (1 Cor. iv. 6.) just so 
likewise here, to make his argument free from invidiousness and acceptable, he introduces 
the members speaking: that when they shall hear nature answering them, being thus convicted 
by experience herself and by the general voice, they may have nothing further to oppose. 
“For say, if you will,” saith he, “this very thing, murmur as you please, you cannot be out of 
the body. For as the law of nature, so much more doth the power of grace guard all things 
and preserve them entire.” And see how he kept to the rule of having nothing superfluous; 
not working out his argument on all the members, but on two only and these the extremes; 
having specified both the most honorable of all, the eye, and the meanest of all, the feet. 
And he doth not make the foot to discourse with the eye, but with the hand which is 
mounted a little above it; and the ear with the eyes. For because we are wont to envy not 
those who are very far above us, but those who are a little higher, therefore he also conducts 
his comparison thus. 

Ver. 17. “If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were 
hearing, where were the smelling?” 

Thus, because, having fallen upon the difference of the members, and having mentioned 
feet, and hands, and eyes, and ears, he led them to the consideration of their own inferiority 

of the passage. He expressly excludes any reference to the sacraments, saying it is “after baptism and before the 
mysteries,” (i.e. the Lord’s Supper), and then speaks of it as if it meant a watering of plants, which however is 
not natural. Most interpreters refer it baptism. C.] 


Homily XXX 

and superiority: see how again he consoles them, intimating that so it was expedient: and 
that their being many and diverse, this especially causeth them to be a body. But if they all 
were some one, they would not be a body. Wherefore, he saith, “If they were all one member, 
where were the body?” This however, he mentions not till afterwards; but here he points 
out also something more; that besides the impossibility of any one being a body, it even 
takes away the being of the rest. 

“For if the whole were hearing, where were the smelling,” saith he. 

[4.] Then because after all they were yet disturbed: that which he had done above, the 
same he doth also now. For as there he first alleged the expediency to comfort them and 
afterwards stopped their mouths, vehemently saying, “But all these worketh the one and 
the same Spirit, dividing to each one man severally even as He will:” so also here having 
stated reasons for which he showed that it was profitable that all should so be, he refers the 
whole again to the counsel of God, saying, 

Ver. 18. “But now God hath set the members each one of them in the body, even as it 
pleased Him.” 

Even as he said of the Spirit, “as He will,” so also here, “as it pleased Him.” Now do not 
thou seek further into the cause, why it is thus and why not thus. For though we have ten 
thousand reasons to give, we shall not be so able to show them that it is well done, as when 
we say, that as the best Artificer pleased, so it came to pass. For as it is expedient, so He wills 
it. Now if in this body of ours we do not curiously enquire about the members, much more 
in the Church. And see his thoughtfulness in that he doth not state the difference which 
arises from their nature nor that from their operation, but that from their local situation. 
For “now,” saith he, “God hath set the members each one of them in the body even as it 
pleased Him.” And he said well, “each one,” pointing out that the use extends to all. For 
thou canst not say, “This He hath Himself placed but not that: but every one according to 
His will, so it is situated.” So that to the foot also it is profitable that it should be so stationed, 
and not to the head only: and if it should invert the order and leaving its own place, should 
go to another, though it might seem to have bettered its condition, it would be the undoing 
and ruin of the whole. For it both falls from its own, and reaches not the other station. 

[5.] Ver. 19. “And if they were all one member, where were the body?” Ver. 20. “But 
now are they many members, but one body.” 

Thus having silenced them sufficiently by God’s own arrangement, again he states 
reasons. And he neither doth this always nor that, but alternates and varies his discourse. 
Since on the one hand, he who merely silences, confounds the hearer, and he, on the contrary, 
who accustoms him to demand reasons for all things, injures him in the matter of faith; for 
this cause then Paul is continually practising both the one and the other, that they may both 
believe and may not be confounded; and after silencing them, he again gives a reason likewise. 
And mark his earnestness in the combat and the completeness of his victory. For from what 


Homily XXX 

things they supposed themselves unequal in honor because in them there was great diversity, 
even from these things he shows that for this very reason they are equal in honor. How, I 
will tell you. 

“If all were one member,” saith he, “where were the body?” 

Now what he means is, If there were not among you great diversity, ye could not be a 
body; and not being a body, ye could not be one; and not being one, ye could not be equal 
in honor. Whence it follows again that if ye were all equal in honor, ye were not a body; and 
not being a body, ye were not one; and not being one, how could ye be equal in honor? As 
it is, however, because ye are not all endowed with some one gift, therefore are ye a body; 
and being a body, ye are all one, and differ nothing from one another in this that ye are a 
body. So that this very difference is that which chiefly causeth your equality in honor. And 
accordingly he adds, “But now they are many members, yet one body.” 

[6.] These things then let us also consider and cast out all envy, and neither grudge 
against them that have greater gifts nor despise them that possess the lesser. For thus had 
God willed: let us then not oppose ourselves. But if thou art still disturbed, consider that 
thy work is oft-times such as thy brother is unable to perform. So that even if thou art inferior, 
yet in this thou hast the advantage: and though he be greater, he is worse off in this respect; 
and so equality takes place. For in the body even the little members seem to contribute no 
little, but the great ones themselves are often injured by them, I mean by their removal. 
Thus what in the body is more insignificant than the hair? Yet if thou shouldest remove 
this, insignificant as it is, from the eyebrows and the eyelids, thou hast destroyed all the 
grace of the countenance, and the eye will no longer appear equally beautiful. And yet the 
loss is of a trifle; but notwithstanding even thus all the comeliness is destroyed. And not the 
comeliness only, but much also of the use of the eyes. The reason is that every one of our 
members hath both a working of its own and one which is common; and likewise there is 
in us a beauty which is peculiar and another which is common. And these kinds of beauty 
appear indeed to be divided, but they are perfectly bound together, and when one is destroyed, 
the other perishes also along with it. To explain myself: let there be bright eyes, and a smiling 
cheek, and a red lip, and straight nose, and open brow; nevertheless, if thou mar but the 
slightest of these, thou hast marred the common beauty of all; all is full of dejection; all will 
appear foul to look on, which before was so beautiful: thus if thou shouldest crush only the 
tip of the nose thou hast brought great deformity upon all: and yet it is the maiming of but 
a single member. And likewise in the hand, if thou shouldest take away the nail from one 
finger, thou wouldest see the same result. If now thou wouldest see the same taking place 
in respect of their function also, take away one finger, and thou wilt see the rest less active 

and no longer performing their part equally. 

183 eni evepyeiaq 


Homily XXX 

Since then the loss of a member is a common deformity, and its safety beauty to all, let 
us not be lifted up nor trample on our neighbors. For through that small member even the 
great one is fair and beautiful, and by the eyelids, slight as they are, is the eye adorned. So 
that he who wars with his brother wars with himself: for the injury done reaches not only 
unto that one, but himself also shall undergo no small loss. 

[7.] That this then may not be, let us care for our neighbors as for ourselves, and let us 
transfer this image of the body now also to the Church, and be careful for all as for our own 
members. For in the Church there are members many and diverse: and some are more 
honorable and some more deficient. For example, there are choirs of virgins, there are as- 
semblies of widows, there are fraternities of those who shine in holy wedlock ; in short, 

many are the degrees of virtue. And in almsgiving again in like manner. For some empty 
themselves of all their goods: others care for a competency alone and seek nothing more 
than necessaries; others give of their superfluity: nevertheless, all these adorn one another; 
and if the greater should set at nought the less, he would in the greatest degree injure himself. 
Thus, suppose a virgin to deal scornfully with a married woman, she hath cut off no small 
part of her reward; and he again that emptied himself of all should he upbraid him that hath 
not done so, hath emptied himself of much of the fruit of his labors. And why speak I of 
virgins, and widows, and men without possessions? What is meaner than those who beg? 
and yet even these fulfill a most important office in the Church, clinging to the doors of the 
sanctuary and supplying one of its greatest ornaments: and without these there could be 

no perfecting the fulness of the Church. Which thing, as it seems, the Apostles also observing 

184 (ppocTpioa. 

185 See Bingham, vii. 2. 6; and as quoted by him, S. Athanas, ad Dracont , t. i. p. 263; S. Augustin, de Hceres. 
c. 40; in support of the opinion, that “there was an order of monks which lived in a married state, and enjoyed 
their own property and possessions as the primitive ascetics were used to do.” If the opinion is correct, (the 
places quoted seem hardly to prove it,) this place of St. Chrysostom may perhaps refer to that order. 

186 Bingham, iv. 4. 1. “At the entrance of the interior Narthex,” or Choir, “the Poor of the Church placed 
themselves, both before and after Divine Service, to ask alms of such as came from the Altar.” S. Chrys. on 1 
Thess. Horn. xi. near the end, “In the Churches, and in the Chapels of the Martyrs, the poor sit in front of the 
vestibules. . . When we enter into earthly palaces, there is no such thing to be seen, but grave, splendid, rich, wise 
men are hastening about on all sides. But at our entrance into the true palaces, the Church, and the houses of 
prayer of the Martyrs, there are possessed persons, maimed, poor, old, blind, distorted in their limbs.” “They 
are an admirable sort of watch-dogs, keeping guard in the Courts of the Palace. Feed them therefore, for the 
honor redounds to their king. . .That human things are nought, thou art excellently instructed by the very Porch 
of the Church: that God delights not in wealth, thou art taught by those who sit before Him.” For the custom 
of the Church of Rome, see the account of St. Lawrence’s martyrdom in Prudentius, as quoted by Hooker, E. P. 
V. lxxix. 14. 


Homily XXX 

made a law from the beginning, as in regard to all other things, so also that there should be 
widows: and so great care did they use about the matter as also to set over them seven dea- 
cons. For as bishops and presbyters and deacons and virgins and continent persons, enter 
into my enumeration, where I am reckoning up the members of the Church, so also do 
widows. Yea, and it is no mean office which they fill. For thou indeed comest here when 
thou wilt: but these both day and night sing psalms and attend: not for alms only doing this; 
since if that were their object, they might walk in the market place and beg in the alleys: but 
there is in them piety also in no small degree. At least, behold in what a furnace of poverty 
they are; yet never shalt thou hear a blasphemous word from them nor an impatient one, 
after the manner of many rich men’s wives. Yet some of them often lie down to their rest 
in hunger, and others continue constantly frozen by the cold; nevertheless, they pass their 
time in thanksgiving and giving glory. Though you give but a penny, they give thanks and 
implore ten thousand blessings on the giver; and if thou give nothing they do not complain, 
but even so they bless, and think themselves happy to enjoy their daily food. 

“Yes,” it is replied, “since whether they will or no, they must bear it.” Why, tell me? 
Wherefore hast thou uttered this bitter expression? Are there not shameful arts which bring 
gain to the aged, both men and women? Had they not power to support themselves by those 
means in great abundance, provided they had chosen to cast off all care of upright living? 
Seest thou not how many persons of that age, by becoming pimps and panders and by other 
such ministrations, both live, and live in luxury ? Not so these, but they choose rather to 
perish of hunger than to dishonor their own life and betray their salvation; and they sit 
throughout the whole day, preparing a medicine of salvation for thee. 

For no physician stretching out the hand to apply the knife, works so effectually to cut 
out the corruption from our wounds, as doth a poor man stretching out his right hand and 
receiving alms, to take away the scars which the wounds have left. And what is truly won- 
derful, they perform this excellent chirurgery without pain and anguish: and we who are 
set over the people and give you so much wholesome advice, do not more truly discourse 
than he doth, who sits before the doors of the church, by his silence and his countenance. 
For we too sound these things in your ears every day, saying, “Be not high-minded, O man; 
human nature is a thing that soon declines and is ready to fall away; our youth hastens on 
to old age, our beauty to deformity, our strength to weakness, our honor to contempt, our 
health falls away to sickness, our glory to meanness, our riches to poverty; our concerns are 
like a violent current that never will stand still, but keeps hastening down the steep.” 

The same advice do they also give and more than this, by their appearance and by their 
experience itself too, which is a yet plainer kind of advice. How many, for instance, of those 
who now sit without, were in the bloom of youth and did great things? How many of these 

187 Tpopovroa vcai rpucpwaev. 


Homily XXX 

loathsome looking persons surpassed many, both in vigor of body and in beauty of counten- 
ance? Nay, disbelieve it not nor deride. For surely, life is full of ten thousand such examples. 
For if from mean and humble persons many have oftentimes become kings, what marvel is 
it if from being great and glorious, some have been made humble and mean? Since the 
former is much the more extraordinary: but the latter, of perpetual occurrence. So that one 
ought not to be incredulous that any of them ever flourished in arts, and arms, and abundance 
of wealth, but rather to pity them with great compassion and to fear for ourselves, lest we 
too should sometime suffer the same things. For we too are men and are subject to this 
speedy change. 

[8.] But perchance some one of the thoughtless, and of those who are accustomed to 
scoff, will object to what hath been said, and will altogether deride us, saying, “How long 
wilt thou not cease continually introducing poor men and beggars in thy discourses, and 
prophesying to us of misfortunes, and denouncing poverty to come, and desiring to make 
us beggars?” Not from a desire to make beggars of you, O man, do I say these things, but 
hastening to open unto you the riches of heaven. Since he too, who to the healthy man makes 
mention of the sick and relates their anguish, saith it not to make him diseased, but to pre- 
serve him in health, by the fear of their calamities cutting off his remissness. Poverty seems 
to you to be a fearful thing and to be dreaded, even to the mere name of it. Yea, and therefore 
are we poor, because we are afraid of poverty; though we have ten thousand talents. For not 
he who hath nothing is poor, but he who shudders at poverty. Since in men’s calamities also 
it is not those who suffer great evils whom we lament and account wretched, but those who 
know not how to bear them, even though they be small. Whereas he that knows how to bear 
them is, as all know, worthy of praises and crowns. And to prove that this is so, whom do 
we applaud in the games? Those who are much beaten and do not vex themselves, but hold 
their head on high; or those who fly after the first strokes? Are not those even crowned by 
us as manly and noble; while we laugh at these as unmanly and cowards? So then let us do 
in the affairs of life. Him that bears all easily let us crown, as we do that noble champion ; 
but weep over him that shrinks and trembles at his dangers, and who before he receives the 
blow is dead with fear. For so in the games; if any before he raised his hands, at the mere 
sight of his adversary extending his right hand, should fly, though he receive no wound, he 
will be laughed to scorn as feeble and effeminate and unversed in such struggles. Now this 
is like what happens to these who fear poverty, and cannot so much as endure the expectation 
of it. 

Evidently then it is not we that make you wretched, but ye yourselves. For how can it 
be that the devil should not hence-forth make sport of thee, seeing thee even before the 
stroke afraid and trembling at the menace? Or rather, when thou dost but esteem this a 

188 jtaYKpariaarrjv. 


Homily XXX 

threat, he will have no need so much as to strike thee any more, but leaving thee to keep thy 
wealth, by the expectation of its being taken away he will render thee softer than any wax. 
And because it is our nature (so to speak,) not to consider the objects of our dread so fearful 
after suffering, as before and while yet untried: therefore to prevent thee from acquiring 
even this virtue, he detains thee in the very height of fear; by the fear of poverty, before all 
experience of it, melting thee down as wax in the fire. Yea, and such a man is softer than 
any wax and lives a life more wretched than Cain himself. For the things which he hath in 
excess, he is in fear: for those which he hath not, in grief; and again, concerning what he 
hath he trembles, keeping his wealth within as a wilful runaway slave, and beset by I know 
not what various and unaccountable passions. For unaccountable desire, and manifold fear 
and anxiety, and trembling on every side, agitate them. And they are like a vessel driven by 
contrary winds from every quarter, and enduring many heavy seas. And how much better 
for such a man to depart than to be enduring a continual storm? Since for Cain also it were 
more tolerable to have died than to be for ever trembling . 

Lest we then for our part suffer these things, let us laugh to scorn the device of the devil, 
let us burst his cords asunder, let us sever the point of his terrible spear and fortify every 
approach. For if thou laugh at money, he hath not where to strike, he hath not where he 
may lay hold. Then hast thou rooted up the root of evils; and when the root is no more, 
neither will any evil fruit grow. 

[9.] Well: these things we are always saying and never leave off saying them: but 
whether our sayings do any good, the day will declare, even that day which is revealed by 
fire, which trieth every man’s work, (1 Cor. iii. 13.) which showeth what lamps are bright 
and what are not so. Then shall he who hath oil, and he who hath it not, be manifest. But 
may none then be found destitute of the comfort; rather may all, bringing in with them 
abundance of mercy, and having their lamps bright, enter in together with the Bridegroom. 

Since nothing is more fearful and full of anguish than that voice which they who departed 
without abundant almsgiving shall then hear the Bridegroom, “I know you not.” (S. Matt, 
xxv. 12.) But may we never hear this voice, but rather that most pleasant and desirable one, 
“Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation 
of the world.” (S. Matt. xxv. 34.) For thus shall we live the happy life, and enjoy all the good 
things which even pass man’s understanding: unto which may we all attain, through the 
grace and mercy, &c. 

189 Gen. iv. 12; vid. supr. Horn. vii. 9. 


Homily XXXI 

Homily XXXI. 

1 Cor. xii. 21 

And the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of thee: or again the head to the feet, I 

have no need of you. 

Having checked the envy of those in lower rank, and having taken off the dejection 
which it was likely that they would feel from greater gifts having been vouchsafed to others, 
he humbles also the pride of these latter who had received the greater gifts. He had done 
the same indeed in his discourse also with the former. For the statement that it was a gift 
and not an achievement was intended to declare this. But now he doth it again even more 
vehemently, dwelling on the same image. For from the body in what follows, and from the 
unity thence arising, he proceeds to the actual comparison of the members, a thing on which 
they were especially seeking to be instructed. Since there was not so much power to console 
them in the circumstance of their being all one body, as in the conviction that in the very 
things wherewith they were endowed, they were not left greatly behind. And he saith, “The 
eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of thee: or again the head to the feet, I have no 
need of you.” 

For though the gift be less, yet is it necessary: and as when the one is absent, many 
functions are impeded, so also without the other there is a maim in the fulness of the Church. 
And he said not, “will not say,” but “cannot say.” So that even though it wish it, though it 
should actually say so, it is out of the question nor is the thing consistent with nature. For 
this cause having taken the two extremes, he makes trial of his argument in them, first in 
respect of the hand and the eye, and secondly, in respect of the head and feet, adding force 
to the example. 

For what is meaner than the foot? Or what more honorable and more necessary than 
the head? For this, the head, more than any thing, is the man. Nevertheless, it is not of itself 
sufficient nor could it alone perform all things; since if this were so, our feet would be a su- 
perfluous addition. 

[2.] And neither did he stop here, but seeks also another amplification, a kind of thing 
which he is always doing, contending not only to be on equal terms but even advancing 
beyond. Wherefore also he adds, saying, 

Ver. 22. “Nay, much rather those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble 
are necessary: 

Ver. 23. “And those parts of the body which we think to be less honorable, upon these 
we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.” 


Homily XXXI 

In every clause adding the term “body,” and thereby both consoling the one and 
checking the other. “For I affirm not this only, 190 ” saith he, “that the greater have need of 
the less, but that they have also much need. Since if there be any thing weak in us, if any 
thing dishonorable, this is both necessary and enjoys greater honor.” And he well said, 
“which seem,” and, “which we think;” pointing out that the judgment arises not from the 
nature of the things, but from the opinion of the many. For nothing in us is dishonorable, 
seeing it is God’s work. Thus what in us is esteemed less honorable than our genital members? 
Nevertheless, they enjoy greater honor. And the very poor, even if they have the rest of the 
body naked, cannot endure to exhibit those members naked. Yet surely this is not the con- 
dition of things dishonorable; but it was natural for them to be despised rather than the rest. 
For so in a house the servant who is dishonored, so far from enjoying greater attention, hath 
not even an equal share vouchsafed him. By the same rule likewise, if this member were 
dishonorable, instead of having greater privileges it ought not even to enjoy the same: 
whereas now it hath more honor for its portion: and this too the wisdom of God hath effected. 
For to some parts by their nature He hath given not to need it: but to others, not having 
granted it by their nature, He hath compelled us to yield it. Yet are they not therefore dis- 
honorable. Since the animals too by their nature have a sufficiency, and need neither 
clothing nor shoes nor a roof, the greater part of them: yet not on this account is our body 
less honorable than they, because it needs all these things. 

Yea rather, were one to consider accurately, these parts in question are even by nature 
itself both honorable and necessary. Which in truth Paul himself imitated, giving his judg- 
ment 191 in their favor not from our care and from their enjoying greater honor, but from 
the very nature of the things. 

Wherefore when he calls them “weak” and “less honorable,” he uses the expression, 
“which seem:” but when he calls them “necessary,” he no longer adds “which seem,” but 
himself gives his judgment, saying, “they are necessary;” and very properly. For they are 
useful to procreation of children and the succession of our race. Wherefore also the Roman 
legislators punish them that mutilate these members and make men eunuchs, as persons 
who do injury to our common stock and affront nature herself. 

But woe to the dissolute who bring reproach on the handy-works of God. For as many 
are wont to curse wine on account of the drunken, and womankind on account of the un- 
chaste; so also they account these members base because of those who use them not as they 
ought. But improperly. For the sin is not allotted to the thing as a portion of its nature, but 
the transgression is produced by the will of him that ventures on it. 

190 The Text of the Editions seems here slightly corrupt. The word povov apparently should be transposed, 
and the second negative omitted. 

191 t|>r|cpiadp£vo<;. 


Homily XXXI 

But some suppose that the expressions, “the feeble members,” and “less honorable,” 
and “necessary,” and “which enjoy more abundant honor,” are used by Paul of eyes and 
feet, and that he speaks of the eye as “more feeble,” and “necessary,” because though deficient 
in strength, they have the advantage in utility: but of the feet as the “less honorable:” for 
these also receive from us great consideration. 

[3.] Next, not to work out yet another amplification, he says, 

Ver. 24. “But our comely parts have no need:” 

That is, lest any should say, “Why what kind of speech is this, to despise the honorable 
and pay court to the less honored?” “we do not this in contempt,” saith he, “but because 
they ‘have no need.’” And see how large a measure of praise he thus sets down in brief, and 
so hastens on: a thing most conveniently and usefully done. And neither is he content with 
this, but adds also the cause, saying, “But God tempered the body together, giving more 
abundant honor unto that part which lacked:” 

Ver. 25. “That there should be no schism in the body.” 

Now if He tempered it together, He did not suffer that which is more uncomely to appear. 
For that which is mingled becomes one thing, and it doth not appear what it was before: 
since otherwise we could not say that it was tempered. And see how he continually hastens 
by the defects, saying, “that which lacked.” He said not, “to that which is dishonorable,” “to 
that which is unseemly,” but, “to that which lacked, (“that which lacked;” how? by nature,) 
giving more abundant honor.” And wherefore? “That there should be no schism in the 
body.” Thus because, though they enjoyed an endless store of consolation, they nevertheless 
indulged grief as if they had received less than others, he signifies that they were rather 
honored. For his phrase is, “Giving more abundant honor to that which lacked.” 

Next he also adds the reason, showing that with a view to their profit he both caused it 
to lack and more abundantly honored it. And what is the reason? “That there should be no 
schism,” saith he, “in the body.” (And he said not, “in the members,” but, “in the body.”) 
For there would indeed be a great and unfair advantage, if some members were cared for 
both by nature and by our forethought, others not even by either one of these. Then would 
they be cut off from one another, from inability to endure the connection. And when these 
were cut off, there would be harm done also to the rest. Seest thou how he points out, that 
of necessity “greater honor” is given to “that which lacketh?” “For had not this been so, the 
injury would have become common to all,” saith he. And the reason is, that unless these 
received great consideration on our part, they would have been rudely treated, as not having 
the help of nature: and this rude treatment would have been their ruin: their ruin would 
have divided the body; and the body having been divided, the other members also would 
have perished, which are far greater than these. 

Seest thou that the care of these latter is connected with making provision for those? 
For they have not their being so much in their own nature, as in their being one, by virtue 


Homily XXXI 

1 Q? 

of the body . Wherefore if the body perish, they profit nothing by such health as they have 
severally. But if the eye remain or the nose, preserving its proper function, yet when the 
bond of union is broken there will be no use for them ever after; whereas, suppose this re- 
maining, and those injured, they both support themselves through it and speedily return to 

But perhaps some one may say, “this indeed in the body hath reason, that ‘that which 
lacketh hath received more abundant honor,’ but among men how may this be made out?” 
Why, among men most especially thou mayest see this taking place. For so they who came 
at the eleventh hour first received their hire; and the sheep that had wandered induced the 
shepherd to leave behind the ninety and nine and run after it, and when it was found, he 
bore and did not drive it; and the prodigal son obtained more honor than he who was ap- 
proved; and the thief was crowned and proclaimed before the Apostles. And in the case of 
the talents also thou mayest see this happen: in that to him that received the five talents, 
and to him that received two, were vouchsafed the same rewards; yea, by the very circum- 
stance that he received the two, he was the more favored with great providential care. Since 
had he been entrusted with the five, with his want of ability he would have fallen from the 
whole: but having received the two and fulfilled his own duty, he was thought worthy of the 
same with him that had gained the five, having so far the advantage, as with less labor to 
obtain the same crown. And yet he too was a man as well as the one that traded with the 
five. Nevertheless, his Master doth not in any wise call him to a strict account, nor compel 
him to do the same with his fellow-servant, nor doth he say, “Why canst thou not gain the 
five?” (though he might justly have said so,) but assigned him likewise his crown. 

[4.] Knowing these things therefore, ye that are greater, trample not on the less, lest, 
instead of them, ye injure yourselves. For when they are cut off, the whole body is destroyed. 
Since, what else is a body than the existence of many members? As also Paul himself saith, 
that “the body is not one member, but many.” If therefore this be the essence of a body, let 
us take care that the many continue many. Since, unless this be entirely preserved, the stroke 
is in the vital parts; which is the reason also why the Apostle doth not require this only, their 
not being separated, but also their being closely united. For instance, having said, “that there 
be no schism in the body,” he was not content with this, but added